The Lions for Hope Sports Complex


To build athletic fields & develop programs for the children of Chicago’s North Lawndale & East Garfield Park communities. Through rugby and other sports, we will expand life opportunities for the youth and increase their social capital. This project is to not only enhance the community but also to give kids a safe haven in the neighborhood.


The Lions for Hope Sports Complex will provide a safe place for the community to gather together. Athletic fields will provide at risk kids the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and extracurricular activities within their own community. Athletics and education come together by forming partnerships with local schools and community organizations to provide mentoring programs that encourage kids to stay in school.

We will accomplish this by:

  • Continuing our successful partnership with Chicago Hope Academy
  • Providing a facility for the Noble Charter Schools and other Chicago Public Schools for their outdoor athletics
  • Providing a safe haven for youth in the neighborhood
  • Developing a mentor program by partnering with existing programs and utilizing the CLCA network
  • Building a dome for use during winter to generate revenue and make the facility and its programs self-sustaini


On April 24th, 2015, the Chicago Lions Charitable Association (CLCA), in partnership with Chicago Hope Academy (Hope), acquired 8 acres of undeveloped land on the near west side of Chicago. This solidifies the relationship between Hope and the Chicago Lions that began in 2009. This complex will enable the CLCA and Hope to provide a safe environment for inner-city kids to participate in athletics in addition to developing and promoting youth rugby in the city of Chicago.

The location is 2600 West Polk Street, Chicago, IL 60612.

Preliminary Details

Our objective is to have a premier sports complex developed as soon as possible. However, depending on funding, we may have to build in phases. We envision the following:

  • Two (2) fields to accommodate rugby, soccer, lacrosse and football
  • Both fields will be lighted and, based on funding, artificial turf
  • Bleachers for the main field with capacity for 2,000-3,000
  • Parking lot
  • Field house:
    • Main room that can host events with kitchen capabilities
    • Deck or viewing area
    • Locker rooms with showers
    • Multi-purpose rooms
    • Concession stand
    • Weight room/athletic training room

Fundraising Goal

  • Phase 1: $3,000,000
  • Phase 2: $4,000,000
  • Phase 3: $2,700,000
  • Phase 4: $1,100,000
  • Total: $10,800,000

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