Philadelphia Union Foundation helps break ground on Rebuild Project at Capitolo Playground Fields


PHILADELPHIA (November 16, 2021) - Today, Mayor Kenney joined the Philadelphia Union Foundation, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, Councilmember Mark Squilla (1st District), City officials and community members to break ground on the Rebuild Project at Capitolo Playground Fields.

The City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild Initiative is an historic investment in public spaces, and this second phase of the Capitolo Playground project is birthed out of a transformational partnership between the City, the Philadelphia Union Foundation and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer to expand the impact of Rebuild investments. Together, the Union Foundation and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer committed more than one million dollars to build 15 mini soccer pitches and two full-size signature fields across Philadelphia, further nurturing Philadelphia’s great appreciation for soccer. Capitolo Playground will receive one of those mini-pitches.

“Thousands of Philadelphians use Capitolo Playground and its field every week, and investing in this site is an investment in the neighbors and community that surround it,” said Mayor Kenney. “Today’s groundbreaking kicks off construction on much needed and deserved improvements at Capitolo Playground and I can’t wait to come back to cut the ribbon.”

“Capitolo has been the heart of this South Philadelphia community for decades. From Italian baseball players to Mexican soccer players, generations of multicultural Philadelphians have enjoyed the ball fields, playgrounds, and gardens,” said Councilmember Mark Squilla (1st district). “The improvements to this gem are necessary so that future Philadelphians continue to play in this City oasis.”

Totaling over $1 million in investment, Phase 2 of the Capitolo Playground Fields Project:

  • A brand new, state-of-the-art mini pitch for soccer
  • Regraded and uplifted athletic fields
  • Additional shade trees and picnic table seating along Passyunk Avenue
  • Improvements to fencing along the community garden
  • Creation of an ADA accessible entrance at 10th & Wharton Streets
  • New bleacher and team benches for spectators and players

“Rebuild’s promise to communities acknowledges the unique history at each of our sites. Here at Capitolo, the vibrant culture of soccer shines bright,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director of Rebuild. “When it came time to invest in the fields, we were overjoyed by the level of passion neighbors and residents had towards supporting this project.”

“It’s our mission to grow the game of soccer, and it’s our privilege to work with the City and the Philadelphia Union to build these mini-pitches,” said Chris Branscome, CEO fo Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. “The children of this community, and those of our future sites,deserve to have well maintained and safe fields to play on. This field will provide for great fun, fitness and friendships.”

“The Philadelphia Union Foundation is proud to help build another safe place for children and families to play soccer,” said Hayes Hunt, Board Chairman, Philadelphia Union Foundation. “Today’s groundbreaking at Capitolo Playground is part of the Foundation’s long-term commitment to develop soccer pitches throughout Philadelphia.”

“Just looking around the crowd at Capitolo, I am reminded that Philadelphia youth sports are a lifeline to thousands of kids, built by an incredible network of volunteers,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner for Parks and Recreation. “But too many leagues face a shortage of quality field space. Investments like this provide the quality sports facilities our coaches and communities so desperately need. Thanks to Rebuild, the Union, and EPYSA for giving young people new places to play. .”

Construction on the improvements at Capitolo fields is anticipated to wrap up in Spring of 2022.