PHILADELPHIA, PA - The sun was shining almost as brightly as the faces of the children playing on the colorful new playground equipment and mini soccer field at the renovated Glavin Playground in the Port Richmond neighborhood on March 16.
The occasion was the ribbon-cutting on $3 million in renovations to the park, which includes a mini-pitch in the city constructed through a partnership between the city’s Rebuild Project, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and the Philadelphia Union Foundation. The mini-pitch is the third of 15 planned across the city.
“It’s part of our larger collective to grow the game of soccer, investing in access and opportunity, something we are proud to deliver to the Glavin Playground and many sites in the future,” said Kelly Connor, chief operating officer of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. “We hope this space is a place where lots of fun is to be had and lots of goals are to be scored.”
Mini pitches were previously completed at Francis J. Myers Recreation Center Athletic Courts in Southwest Philly and at Capitolo Playground in South Philly.
"Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is a proud partner of the city of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Union," Connor said. “And together we invest resources to build many soccer fields throughout the city, providing a safe, modern and fun space for the kids and even some of these adults out here.”
After the official ribbon-cutting, Philadelphia Union mascot Phang joined several of the kids to break in the new pitch.
“Philadelphia is a host city of the 2026 World Cup and this mini pitch is an important addition to our city's infrastructure,” said Paul Howard, executive director of the Philadelphia Union Foundation.
Glavin Playground, which is known to many in the community as “A&W,” is named after Frank Glavin, who worked with the Department of Recreation. Glavin helped create programs for children and adults with special needs. The updates to this site were designed in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to help continue Glavin’s work by providing an inviting community space for children and adults to prosper.
“This transformation here is awesome,” Mayor Kenney said.” The brightness of the playground reflects the incredible life you can feel when walking through this neighborhood.”
Kathryn Ott Lovell, commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; City Councilmember Michel Driscoll; Kira Strong, executive director of Rebuild; community leader Geri Logan and Tom Morris, director of Public Gardens and Landscapes at Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, also spoke during the ceremony.