The Intro Rebuilding Athletic Facilities
A public-private partnership between three New Yorkers and the City of New York to rebuild public high school athletic fields—enjoyed by over 200,000 students and neighborhood residents annually—throughout the five boroughs.
Between 1974 and 1999, spending on sports programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City radically declined. It sounds like a joke, but it was a fact that many school teams had annual budgets of about $100 each-an amount insufficient to cover the cost of one football helmet. In 2000, the year Take the Field was founded, the New York City Department of Education allocated less than 1% of its budget to sports education for grades K-12. Only 12% of all high school students participated in team sports, among the lowest percentages in the country.
In the winter of 1999, the New York Times ran a series of feature articles titled “Dropping the Ball,” exposing the neglect of the City’s sports programs and the dilapidated condition of the high school athletic fields. The morning the Times story appeared, TTF co-founder Tony Kiser called his friend Richard Kahan, an urban planner and education reformer, and said: “Let’s do something about this.”