The Dallas Cowboys have awarded Behind Every Door, through the National Football League Foundation’s Grassroots program, $250,000 to install an artificial turf football field at the Cedar Crest Community Center in the South Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas.
The Cedar Crest Community Center, formerly owned by the Salvation Army, has been an integral part of the South Oak Cliff community for 50 years, the Cowboys said.
The 8-acre property includes a 20,000-square-foot community center, a 4,000-square-foot church building, a full-size soccer field and a playground.
According to the Dallas Cowboys, the grant is part of $6 million in field rehabilitation awards awarded this year.
The new multisport playing field will serve community members and students from three schools within a mile of the new facility, the Cowboys said.
More than 1,000 young people and children attend the school in the neighboring community.
The NFL Foundation’s Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation, has supported the construction or renovation of 416 football fields nationwide since 1998.
During that time, the NFL Foundation has committed nearly $58 million to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. Pitches will be newly built or extensively renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lighting, stands, scoreboards, goalposts and turf.
Grassroots grants are awarded once set funding thresholds are met for each project.
“The Dallas Cowboys are proud to partner with the NFL Foundation and LISC to bring the youth of South Oak Cliff a new turf football field,” said Charlotte Jones, the Cowboys executive vice president and chief brand officer. “We want every child to have the opportunity to play football in a safe and supportive environment and Behind Every Door is committed to creating a positive place for children to grow and transform their lives.”
According to the Cowboys, LISC identifies local, non-profit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or renovating soccer fields at neighborhood schools and parks.
The program provides local authorities with the funding and technical assistance they need 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 its associated health benefits are in high demand across the country,” said Beverly Smith, LISC vice president of sports and recreation. “This new field at the Cedar Crest Community Center – like all that the Grassroots program has established over the years – will provide opportunities for young people to compete in a safe, healthy and structured environment.”