The Dallas Cowboys, through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots program, have awarded $250,000 to Behind Every Door to install a synthetic turf football field at the Cedar Crest Community Center in the South Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas.
Formerly owned by the Salvation Army, the Cedar Crest Community Center has been a staple of the South Oak Cliff community for 50 years, the Cowboys said.
The 8-acre site includes a 20,000-square-foot community center, a 4,000-square-foot church building, a large soccer field and a playground.
According to the Dallas Cowboys, the grant is part of $6 million in field renovation 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.
In the neighboring community, more than 1,000 teenagers and children attend school.
The NFL Foundation 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 awarded nearly $58 million to help revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. The fields are newly constructed or extensively renovated with improvements such as irrigation systems, lighting, stands, scoreboards, goal posts and grass.
Grassroots grants are provided once the defined funding thresholds for each project are reached.
“The Dallas Cowboys are proud to partner with the NFL Foundation and LISC to bring a new grass football field for the youth of South Oak Cliff,” said Charlotte Jones, 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 has stepped in to create a positive place for children to grow and change their lives.”
According to the Cowboys, LISC identifies local, non-profit, community-based agencies with an interest in building or refurbishing soccer fields in schools and neighborhood parks.
The program will provide local agencies with the funding and technical assistance they need to improve the quality and safety of the 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, LISC’s vice president of Sports & Recreation. “This new field at the Cedar Crest Community Center – like all the others the Grassroots program has established over the years – will provide opportunities for young people to compete in a safe, healthy, structured environment.”