LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Clark County School District will install new synthetic turf at Rancho High School in Las Vegas thanks in part to a $250,000 grant from the Raiders through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program.
The grant from the Raiders, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is among $61 million the Grassroots Program has invested in creating or improving 376 fields nationwide during the last two decades.
The new synthetic turf playing surface at Rancho High School will increase the safety and accessibility of the field, allowing at least a 30 percent increase in field usage.
A 13 Investigation exposed dangerous conditions at several high school fields across Las Vegas in September 2019.
The condition of the fields was blamed for an increase in the concussion rate for football players at one school at least.
James Holzhauer, also known as "Jeopardy James," and his wife Melissa made a significant donation to help replace fields after they saw the stories by 13 Action News Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
Just a couple of days ago, they spoke to Spears again about the donation and issued a challenge to the community to step up and help with the problem.
Three months ago, Melissa and I committed ourselves to giving Vegas students a safe place to play sports. The NFL heard our concerns and is taking action. I couldn’t be more proud of the role my wife played in making this happen. https://t.co/eGj9tiW7V5
— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) January 9, 2020
The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Program is a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation’s leading community development support organization. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements including irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
“The students and athletes at Rancho High School can look forward to the installation of a new state of the art field as we continue our commitment to youth football and to our community. The advancement of football at the youth and high school levels remains a top priority for the Raiders and we are excited to introduce this field replacement program to Las Vegas,” said Raiders President Marc Badain.
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
Sept. 13: Football fields in foul shape
Sept. 12: Las Vegas high school football fields flagged for fouls
Oct. 17: Clark County School District takes step to replace artificial turf fields
Oct. 30: Is there a real risk in artificial turf fields?