By Ryan Bailey
Local apartment community will be the first location for high quality turf mini pitches, which will be complemented with soccer programming
CHARLOTTE—As part of Charlotte FC’s commitment to funding and promoting youth soccer, 22 brand-new pitches will be installed across Charlotte and the Carolinas. Teaming up with Ally, the first pair of pitches will be located at The Apartments at Sailboat Bay in East Charlotte.
The pitches will provide a safe playing space for youth and adults in the community, where over 100 children are currently served by the Charlotte FC community partner Street Soccer 658. The non-profit foundation will use the new fields at Sailboat Bay for its soccer programming.
“We are proud to work with Ally in producing our first mini pitches for community use,” says Charlotte FC President Nick Kelly. “We believe in the power of soccer as a force for positive change, and the new fields at Sailboat Bay represent another stepping stone in our commitment to serving communities in Charlotte and across the Carolinas.”
Street Soccer 658 uses the world’s most popular sport to engage with Charlotte’s at-risk youth and adults. Currently, it uses a nearby parking lot for its programming.
“As an ally for the fans and the community, we’re so excited to work with Charlotte FC to help grow the sport of soccer locally,” said Ally’s Senior Director of Brand and Sponsorship Marketing, Bridget Sponsky. “This pitch will be here for years to come, bringing families and the community together.”
The high quality turf pitches at Sailboat Bay will be completed and ready for use this spring, and a kickoff event is being planned to celebrate the unveiling. They will be available for open play for the apartment community, in addition to youth programming.
“There is not much field space in East Charlotte, and this area has so many great ‘sport for social change’ programs doing amazing work,” says Street Soccer 658 Endeavor Director Peter Fink. “By starting at Sailboat Bay, Charlotte FC is showing that they are really paying attention to the community, and want to support these programs by filling a need.”
The club’s 22 Pitches Initiative will install mini soccer pitches in neighborhoods across Charlotte and the Carolinas in an effort to eliminate the barriers to access for youth players. Each pitch will be supported with a character-based mentoring curriculum and soccer programming.