The Lions for Hope Sports Complex


Provide a world class sports complex exposing kids to a healthy and active lifestyle, supporting personal development and becoming an integral part of the redevelopment of Chicago’s North Lawndale, East Garfield Park neighborhoods.


The Lions for Hope Sports Complex will be recognized as a safe place for the community to gather, learn and compete. The facilities will provide at-risk youth the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and extracurricular activities in their own community. By developing a strong mentoring program through partnerships with other organizations and schools, the Lions for Hope Sports Complex will bring athletics and education together to teach teamwork and build confidence by exposing Chicago’s youth to the fastest growing youth sport in America, rugby.

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-sustaining


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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