The initiative is part of Fire FC's partnership with Chicago Park District, the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund and the US Soccer Foundation, which began in December 2017. The completion of the 50th mini-pitch means the initiative was completed a full year ahead of the original schedule.
“The completion of the 50 mini-pitches across the city of Chicago represents an incredible milestone for the Chicago Soccer Initiative that began nearly four years ago,” Chicago Fire Foundation executive director Jessica Yavitz said in a statement. “This initiative emphasizes the importance that our club and partners, in the case of the 50th pitch, United Airlines, place on providing a safe place for the community to play soccer, create friendships and instill an active, healthy lifestyle.”
The US Soccer Foundation has now installed more than 450 pitches nationwide, with a goal of building 1,000 by 2026. The 50 in Chicago are largely concentrated in the city’s south and west sides, with the objective of increasing access to free, high-quality programming on the mini-pitches and ensuring that they are open for pick-up play.
The Fire plan to celebrate the milestone with an event in Spring 2022.
To find a mini-pitch near you, locations nationwide can be found on the US Soccer Foundation's official website.