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Nike helps New Orleans usher in new era of physical activity

NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 10, 2012) – New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu today dedicated Victory Field, a new turf football field supported by founding partners Nike, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Brees Dream Foundation, as part of multi-million dollar improvements to transform Joe Brown Park into a world-class, regional park to enable children and families to be healthy and active.  Additional athletic facilities in Joe Brown Park will include a recreational center and eight-lane track, to be funded by Nike and other partners.

“This commitment to Joe Brown Park and New Orleans East shows the public and private sectors’ confidence in our plans to build back better than before,” said Mayor Landrieu. “We’re pleased Nike brought its passion for sports and youth to this important project, and created opportunities for us to partner with the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Brees Dream Foundation, which continue to make a difference in our community on and off the field, to build Victory Field. Through this collaboration, we’re creating not just buildings, but productive opportunities for our young people.”

“We will bring sport, play and physical activity back to New Orleans East,” said Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback and co-founder of the Brees Dream Foundation.  “Sports are a great way for young people to develop social skills, build confidence, learn discipline and most importantly, have fun.   Brittany and I are honored to help create opportunities for local kids to experience the benefits of becoming more physically active at a young age.”

The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) and area schools and community groups will have use of Victory Field.  Nike will work with the other founding partners, as well as with NORDC and other local organizations, to design innovative initiatives for kids to participate in all forms of physical activity in fun, engaging ways, and track the impact of doing so.

“Collaborating to develop premier facilities that deliver inspirational and effective programming brings new life to Joe Brown Park and helps usher in a new generation of active kids,” said Elliott Hill, Nike North America Vice President and General Manager. “Our collective efforts to change kids’ lives through sports participation will pave the way for a better New Orleans for everyone.”

“The Sugar Bowl Committee’s history of serving the youth of New Orleans via amateur athletics is well-documented and the project at Joe Brown Park is another extremely important chapter in that history,” said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan. “We are proud to partner with the Mayor, Nike and the Brees Dream Foundation as we work together to provide physical fitness and personal growth opportunities that will shape the future of young people for years to come.”

Below is a summary list of the projects funded by the partners.

Victory Football Field: This project is in two phases: the installation of the artificial turf field and scoreboard is complete. The second phase includes completion of lighting, bleachers, a field house, and locker rooms.

Joe Brown Center: This project involves the repair and renovation of the park’s recreation center. Phase I of this project will be complete by March 2012, in order for Nike to host Final Four related youth events at the Center, with substantial completion of the entire facility by end of summer 2012.

Track: This project includes a championship track centered on a multipurpose field (natural grass), with lighting, bleachers, and field house. This project will be completed by end of summer 2012. 

“The City is investing north of $120 million in capital projects in the East – from Joe Brown park, to the New Orleans East regional library, to the new 7th District police station, and a full-service hospital on the former Methodist site,” said Mayor Landrieu. “The developments along this corridor act as an anchor for the community and as a magnet for more private investments.  We will continue to work with these partners and others like the NOLA Business Alliance to improve the quality of life for residents of New Orleans East.”

In total, Joe W. Brown Memorial Park will see a more than $23 million overhaul by the end of summer 2012. All projects in the park are part of Mayor Landrieu’s “Committed Projects.” In addition to the private investment from Nike, Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the Brees Dream Foundation, significant public assistance is being provided by FEMA and other City funds.   Other projects include repair and reconstruction of lighting, a baseball field, new picnic shelters, a walking path extension and widening, new playspots, a water play area, tennis court renovations, concession stand renovations, upgraded parking, outdoor basketball courts, amphitheater, pedestrian bridges, landscaping, and park signage. The Joe Brown Indoor Pool was completed in May 2011. 

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