By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a promise kept. A new football field is being built for the Blackhawks, one Philadelphia’s premier “Pop Warner” peewee football teams.
After the Blackhawks won the National Pop Warner Pee Wee championship in 2010, Mayor Nutter promised them a new place to play.
“We made a commitment that we were going to get them a new field,” the mayor recalled today, with bulldozers poised behind him. “They deserve it. This place was a mess.”
The field, at 11th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, had hardly any grass. Now, it’s a construction site as a $2.5-million makeover gets underway.
“This was called ‘Dust Bowl.’ This is how it looked at the end of our season, just like you see it now. Nothing but dirt,” notes Blackhawks’ coach Don Richardson.
The new field, with artificial turf, will be shared by the football team of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School.
“The quality of life for our student-athletes will improve dramatically just by having a field that’s accessible to them,” says St. Joe’s Prep football coach, Gabe Infante.
The new field is expected to be finished by mid-November.
In addition to a state-of-the-art playing surface, the project includes a new scoreboard, paving, fencing, new locker rooms, and restrooms.
The new field is funded with $2 million from the City of Philadelphia, a half-million from St. Joe’s Prep, and $200,000 from the Philadelphia Eagles, through the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.