FC Dallas Foundation and UAE Embassy break ground on new community soccer field for kids in Dallas

FRISCO, Texas (Aug. 14, 2014) - Earlier today, city officials, community leaders, and children at the Jubilee Park and Community Center gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new, state-of-the-art soccer field, which will be completed and officially dedicated in October. 

The community field is the result of an exciting new partnership between the FC Dallas Foundation and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The completed field will benefit hundreds of children at Jubilee and the wider Dallas community on a year-round basis. The UAE Embassy will donate the funds to construct the field, and FC Dallas will provide ongoing coaching and soccer programming for the community center.

"We are honored to join the UAE Embassy in bringing such a high quality field to the children in our community," said Melissa Reddick, FC Dallas Foundation director. "Having a nice, safe place to play sports is a luxury too many children in our community still don't have. This is the third community field we have helped build in the Metroplex, and we can't wait to see it finished and begin bringing soccer clinics and coaching to the children of this community."

The Jubilee Park community field is the first field that the UAE Embassy and FC Dallas have built together. 

"I can't imagine a better place for this new field, right here in the heart of Dallas," said UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba.  "The Jubilee Park and Community Center is a cornerstone of this community, and we look forward to seeing the completed field later this fall. We are excited to partner with the FC Dallas Foundation and provide local kids the opportunity to enjoy soccer all year round."

Dallas is the sixth U.S. city to receive the gift of a soccer field from the UAE Embassy.

The Embassy has collaborated with local community partners across the U.S. to provide deserving children access to quality programming by building new soccer fields in: Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, East Los Angeles and Miami.

"This field will be a game-changer for our students and our community," said Ben Leal, executive director of Jubilee Park and Community Center. "The Center is honored to be chosen by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and the FC Dallas Foundation to receive such a wonderful gift that will enhance the quality of life for our community."

Matar Al Khzaimi, head of the UAE medical office in Houston; Dan Hunt, FC Dallas president; Moises Hernandez, FC Dallas Homegrown defender; Melissa Reddick, FC Dallas Foundation director and John Wagner, president of Hunt Sports Group were joined at the groundbreaking event by Dallas City Councilmember Adam Medrano and local families and children. The kids were treated to a skills clinic to mark the occasion.

About FC Dallas

A member of Major League Soccer since its inception in 1996, FC Dallas is owned and operated by Hunt Sports Group. The professional team plays from March to November at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. One of the first soccer-specific stadiums built in the United States, the venue plays host to Major League Soccer matches, concerts, international soccer matches and high school football. The 145-acre Toyota Soccer Center also includes 17 regulation-sized, tournament-grade soccer fields and is also home to the organization’s nationally-renowned youth development system.

About The United Arab Emirates

The UAE is a source of stability, tolerance, innovation, and growth in the Arabian Gulf and around the globe. The United States and the UAE are reliable allies, with historical and present-day shared security and economic interests. In fact, the UAE is the largest export market for US goods in the Middle East and more US naval vessels visit UAE ports than any other port outside the United States.  The United States and the UAE also enjoy growing social and cultural ties, and many US institutions in education, healthcare and the arts have formed collaborative partnerships with UAE entities.  For more information: www.uae-embassy.org.

About Jubilee Park and Community Center

Jubilee Park & Community Center is a leader in Dallas in neighborhood revitalization.   The mission of Jubilee is to be a catalyst for community renewal and enrichment to the southeast Dallas/Fair Park neighborhood, with special emphasis on comprehensive, community revitalization and the education of children and adults.  Founded in 1997 through a collaboration between AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Greater Dallas Community of Churches and Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Jubilee seeks to improve lives and strengthen community.