The Atlanta United Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have announced grants to develop four new soccer mini-pitches as part of the next phase of the GA 100 campaign. With 16 mini-pitches now in development or completed, the campaign is closer to its goal to create up to 100 mini-pitches across the state leading into the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The Atlanta United Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to LISC to lead installation of the first 20 mini-pitches across the state. With this funding, LISC – the nation’s leading community development support organization – identifies local, nonprofit and community-based agencies wishing to build or refurbish soccer mini-pitches at schools, neighborhood parks and other recreation spaces in Georgia neighborhoods. The local organizations receive financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of mini-pitches in their communities. The organizations then oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
The campaign, which kicked off in 2020, has made grants to 14 neighborhood organizations. This year, $300,000 will be directed to four organizations to build four mini-pitches:
- Atlanta Youth Soccer Foundation will use its $75,000 grant to replace an existing turf field at its facility in Lilburn.
- Pioneer Georgia’s $75,000 grant will help bring a new mini-pitch field to Hogansville.
- The SAE School will use its $75,000 grant to build a new mini-pitch soccer field at its school in Mableton.
- The United Way of Hall County, Inc. and Gainesville City Parks and Recreation (in partnership) will use a $75,000 grant to build a sport court/mini-pitch soccer field in Gainesville’s Myrtle Street Park.
“We are thrilled to expand GA 100’s reach to four deserving organizations that will make a lasting impact in their communities,” said Marissa Ahrens, Atlanta United Director of Community Engagement. “Despite the challenges the pandemic has presented, this campaign has awarded 16 mini-pitches to 14 different organizations. We are excited to open our first pitch later this month while several more are tracking towards a grand opening during 2022.”
Applications will open in April for the next phase of GA 100. Community organizations, schools, and parks and recreation departments across the state can apply for grants of up to $75,000. The grants require a minimum community local match of one dollar for every GA 100 dollar (1:1) up to $75,000.
The soccer mini-pitches, once built, will include field surface improvements, goals, fencing and lighting. GA 100 grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
“Mini-pitches serve as tremendous assets to local communities and are an instant source of recreation for children, youth and families as well as great tools for healthy neighborhood development and cohesion,” said Beverly Smith, LISC’s vice president of Sports and Recreation. ‘We are proud to provide this opportunity through the GA 100 Program with the Atlanta United Foundation.”
Requests for proposals (RFPs) from communities for the next phase of GA 100 grants will be accepted beginning April 1, 2022. The deadline for proposal submissions is July 15, 2022. For more information and to download the RFP, visit GA 100.
Beverly Smith—Vice President, LISC Sports & Recreation
Marissa Ahrens—Director, Community Engagement, Atlanta United
About the Atlanta United Foundation
The Atlanta United Foundation (AUF) strives to make the game of soccer accessible and inclusive for individuals across the state of Georgia. Through the global game of soccer, our grant programs stress the importance of physical fitness while building a supportive culture of play and sportsmanship. AUF invests in nonprofit organizations that make soccer fun, exciting, and accessible for individuals who otherwise would not get to participate. AUF is an affiliated fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
LISC is one the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and local economies can thrive. Since our founding, LISC has invested $24 billion to create more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments, develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.