While billion-dollar business developments in Inglewood continue to grab the spotlight, other news that has been flying below the radar is the attention being given to our youth. It is time to shine a light on our youngest residents.
Recently, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers blessed the City of Inglewood with grants to improve our city parks. The Lakers organization and Jerry Buss family awarded Inglewood an $80,000 grant to resurface basketball courts at both Darby and Rogers Parks. And the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation gave a grant to the City for close to $300,000 for a new baseball field at Darby Park.
This is the first partnership between the Dodgers and the City of Inglewood. Darby is the 44th park out of 50 that will have a new Dodgers Dreamfield installed. Funds will be used for baseball field improvements, which include new turf, scoreboards, fencing and dugouts. The Dreamfield is expected to be complete in April 2017.
The investment in our youth athletes is another sign that Inglewood is going in the right direction. These grants indicate confidence in Inglewood’s future.
When the Lakers left Inglewood in 1999, and moved to Staples Center, many thought the best days were behind us. And for a few years, that seemed to be the case. Now, we have come full circle even bigger and better before, having landed the deal of a lifetime that will bring the L.A.. Rams to play in Inglewood. We could very well end up with two teams at the stadium, as a lease agreement with the San Diego Chargers to play in Inglewood was formalized today.
Having major sports franchises like the Lakers and Dodgers invest in our kids is a big deal, not only in terms of funding, but morale support. Community events, such as basketball clinics and the Dodgers Foundation’s meet-and-greet with Fernando Valenzuela at Darby Park last summer fuels hope in our youth that someday they could be professional ball players too. But more than that, it inspires them to be great at whatever they do.
It is important that we continue to support our home grown athletes, even as the City welcomes professional ball players here. Our children are the ones who will inherit what we are building in Inglewood today. They will be running the companies and working at the jobs created by Hollywood Park Tomorrow, Metro Link and the Los Angeles Rams.
Many thanks to the Lakers and Dodgers for taking an active interest in Inglewood kids. I would encourage local businesses in the city to support our youth as well. When they come calling, asking for donations for field trips, uniforms or whatever, please be generous. This is the season for giving.