BY JEFF BERDING
A group of Bengals players, coaches and staff led by linebacker Takeo Spikes and his position coach Mark Duffner joined the celebration May 4th, 2000 at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new football field at St. Clair Heights Park in the Fairmount area of Cincinnati.
The ceremony, was the culmination of years of work by leaders in the North and South Fairmount neighborhoods to get a football field built for the community's youth.
The Bengals, working through the NFL's Community Football Fields program, provided a $70,000 grant to fund the field and an adjacent parking lot. The project was coordinated through the Cincinnati Park Board, Cincinnati Recreation Commission and the St. Clair Heights Park Improvement Coalition.
Excavation of the site will be completed by early June, with seeding to follow. It is expected that the field will be ready for youth football games this fall. The field will be used by teams in the Cincinnati Police and the Cincinnati Recreation Youth Football Leagues, involving more than 500 local kids. Once it is complete, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission will maintain and operate the site.
Mike Brown, Bengals President, stated, "We are pleased to partner with the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and community leaders to provide a football field to the local kids. My father Paul Brown was firmly convinced that organized sports provided the opportunity for less advantaged members of society to earn an education through athletic scholarships. We are proud of that heritage and are committed to carry his vision forward in this community by supporting amateur youth football programs."
Lois Broerman, President of the North Fairmount Community Center, added, "The kids in our area have been without a suitable field to play, and thanks to the Bengals, we now have a great playground at no expense to the City of Cincinnati. We were thrilled to break ground today."