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New artificial turf field will be built just south of the proposed Obama Presidential Center

Chicago, IL – The Obama Foundation today signed an agreement with the Chicago Park District to fund the construction of a new artificial turf field in Jackson Park. The multi-use field will replace the existing field at the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) site, and will be located near the future site of the OPC.

Jackson Park is home to the Jackson Park Athletic Field, which hosts soccer, football, and track practices and competitions. The field was originally built as part of the “Take the Field Initiative” that constructed 12 artificial turf fields in underserved Chicago Parks. Current plans for the Obama Presidential Center will require the relocation of that field and prompted a joint effort between the Obama Foundation and the Chicago Park District to build a new, updated turf field.

“Multi-use turf fields are popular features in our parks,” said Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly. “We are grateful to the Obama Foundation for their donation that will allow use of a field in Jackson Park to be uninterrupted by construction.”

“The Obama Presidential Center will provide new opportunities for recreation and relaxation at Jackson Park, but it’s also important to us that we protect all the ways people currently use the park,” said David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation. “This donation will ensure that the young and young at heart who love and use this field will continue to enjoy the games, leagues, and practices that happen so regularly on this field.”

The Obama Foundation will donate up to $3.5 million to the Chicago Park District to cover the construction of the multi-purpose artificial turf field. The Park District, in turn, will be responsible for design, construction, and maintenance of the field. The project is expected to be completed by Fall 2018.