NFL grants will improve football fields in 15 U.S. cities

NEW YORK -- The NFL will award $2.5 million in grants for new or refurbished football fields in 15 cities.

The money will go to schools, parks and other facilities in Atlanta; Spartanburg, S.C.; Chicago; Alexandria, Ky.; Grafton, Ohio; Pueblo, Colo.; Detroit; West Allis, Wis.; New Orleans; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; Penn Hills, Pa.; Clearwater, Fla.; Madison, Tenn.; and Washington.

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Teams whose markets will benefit from the grants are the Falcons, Panthers, Bears, Bengals, Browns, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Saints, Giants, Eagles, Steelers, Buccaneers, Titans and Redskins.

"Community fields are the pillars of neighborhoods across the country, places where families can 'play 60' together in a safe environment," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

The program is a partnership between the league and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and is part of a 14-year, $32.5 million commitment the NFL has made through its grass roots program. So far, 256 football fields nationwide have been constructed or renovated.

"Health and safety in sports should be a priority at every level," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. "The field improvements made by this important program will be a tremendous benefit to active youth across the country. The players of the NFL also applaud these nonprofits for their work to better our communities."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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