On the evening of Nov. 16, hundreds of people gathered around a few shovels, and podium and a pair of construction vehicles, at Capitolo Playground in South Philadelphia. Usually, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks garner attention, but on this night, it was the activity at the park that drew City officials, news cameras and local youths.
Mayor Kenney joined the Philadelphia Union Foundation, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, Councilmember Mark Squilla, City officials and community members to break ground on the Rebuild project at Capitolo Playground Fields.
“This field is for all of you,” Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer CEO Chris Branscome said. “Everything that I do in my job, it is because of kids like you and the coaches that were just up here. We all know soccer is the best sport in the world, and I’m so thrilled we’re able to put another field here for all the kids because they deserve it.”
Together, the Union Foundation and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer committed more than one million dollars to build 15 mini soccer pitches and two full-size signature fields across Philadelphia, further nurturing Philadelphia’s great appreciation for soccer. Capitolo Playground is the second site set to receive one of those mini-pitches.
“We’ve had the greatest players come from this city, and we want to continue to develop more players, more coaches, more fans,” Branscome said. “I can’t wait for the day that we’re back here and it’s sunny and warm, and we’re on the field playing.”
In addition to the new mini pitch, Capitolo Playground is expected to add regraded and uplifted athletic fields, additional shade trees and picnic seating along Passyunk Avenue, improvements to fencing along the community garden, new bleachers and team benches for spectators and players, and the creation of an ADA accessible entrance.
Construction on the improvements at Capitolo fields is anticipated to wrap up in Spring of 2022.