The Dallas Cowboys, through the National Football League Foundation’s Grassroots program, awarded $250,000 to Behind Every Door to install an artificial turf soccer field at Cedar Crest Community Center in the South Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas.
Cedar Crest Community Center, formerly owned by the Salvation Army, has been a fixture in the South Oak Cliff community for 50 years, the Cowboys said.
The eight-acre property includes a 20,000 square foot community center, a 4,000 square foot church, a full-size soccer field and a playground.
According to the Dallas Cowboys, the grant is part of $6 million in on-field renovation awards given out this year.
The new multi-sport playground will serve community members and students from three schools within one mile of the new facility, the Cowboys said.
More than 1,000 teenagers and children attend school in the nearby community.
The NFL Foundation’s Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, has supported the construction or renovation of 416 football fields nationwide since 1998.
Meanwhile, the NFL Foundation has awarded nearly $58 million to revitalize playgrounds in underserved neighborhoods. The pitches are either newly constructed or significantly renovated with upgrades such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and grass.
Local grants are awarded once established funding thresholds are met for each project.
“The Dallas Cowboys are proud to partner with the NFL Foundation and LISC to bring a new artificial turf football field to the youth of South Oak Cliff,” said Charlotte Jones, executive vice president and chief brand officer of the Cowboys. “We want every child to have the opportunity to play football in a safe and supportive environment and Behind Every Door has stepped in to create a positive place for children to grow and transform their lives.”
According to the Cowboys, LISC identifies local, nonprofit and community agencies that have an interest in building or renovating football fields in schools and neighborhood parks.
Through this program, local agencies receive the funding and technical assistance needed to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities, the Cowboys said. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
“Outdoor recreation and the health benefits that come with it are in high demand across the country,” said Beverly Smith, vice president of sports and recreation at LISC. “This new field at the Cedar Crest Community Center – like all the Grassroots program has established over the years – will provide young people with the opportunity to compete in a safe, healthy and structured environment.”