Offutt Field, the southwestern Pennsylvania facility that has hosted athletes for more than a century, will get a new synthetic turf field thanks in part to a $150,000 grant from the Pittsburgh Steelers through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program. The grant from the Steelers, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to the Greensburg Salem School District is part of $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Field Grant Program – a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation's leading community development support organization – has supported the construction or renovation of 365 football fields nationwide since 1998. During that time, the NFL Foundation has granted nearly $61 million to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
"We are delighted that Greensburg Salem School was selected to receive this grant through the National Football League's Grassroots Program," said Mike Marchinsky, the Steelers' Youth and High School Football Marketing Manager. "A new playing surface at Offutt Field, located a few miles from our team's training camp home, will bring a new level of excitement around Greensburg Salem Athletics and one we look forward to supporting through our youth and high school football programs."
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
"Safe, accessible places to play and exercise are part of what makes neighborhoods healthy and sustainable," said Beverly Smith, LISC's Vice President of Sports & Recreation. "Our partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL Foundation is devoted to increasing the quality and number of those places."