Grants for Recreational and Community Facilities Development
Whether you are planning to install or renovate a recreational sports field, athletic track, sports court or an outdoor gym for your community, trying to find grants for recreational and community facilities development projects is oftentimes a frustrating and tedious undertaking. In this article we have done our best to list the most relevant and interesting grant opportunities that are available nationwide for sports and recreation facilities projects.
The list includes grant programs from the federal and state governments, as well as, from private entities such as professional sports leagues or associations and businesses and corporations. Most of the grant programs are directed towards non-profit organizations, public schools, underserved communities and youth sports programs and organizations.
You can use one of our sports facility cost calculators to get a customized cost estimate for your project. This will help you when filling out grant applications. Grant programs usually want to know the total cost of your project.
If you are interested in browsing through grant programs by state, visit our sports facility grants & funding section.
Federal & governmental grants for recreational and community facilities
One way to obtain financial support for an artificial turf pitch or floodlighting system, for example, is to apply to a public funding program. There are several agencies at the federal and state level that provide funds for sports projects in local communities.
UPARR stands for Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery. Cities, primarily economically disadvantaged communities, can receive financial grants and technical assistance for needed recreational facility rehabilitation.
More information https://www.nps.gov/uparr/
Land and Water Conservation Fund
States and local governments receive grants for the purchase and development of recreation facilities, which include parks and athletic fields.
More information https://www.doi.gov/lwcf
EPA Brown / Greenfield Program
Grants are awarded here for projects to transform brownfields for community use, including athletic fields.
More information https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/overview-epas-brownfields-program
USDA – Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program
This program from the US department of agriculture provides affordable funding (grants and loans) to develop essential community facilities – including sports and recreational facilities – in rural areas (no more than 20,000 residents).
USDA – The Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Grants
USDA offers grants and loans for community facility projects, including outdoor recreation areas.
HUD – Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG State)
Under the State CDBG Program, states award grants to smaller units of general local government that develop and provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities. Grant funds can be used for various purposes including the construction or rehabilitation of public and recreational facilities and improvements.
NPS – Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program
Financed through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, ORLP is a nationally competitive program targeting grant assistance to help underserved urban communities with little access to publicly available, outdoor recreation. Funds can be used for for the acquisition and/or development of outdoor recreation spaces – including field and court sports for example.
NRPA – The National Recreation and Park Association Grants
NRPA offers various grant programs that provide funding for parks and recreational facilities, which may include outdoor gyms.
More information: https://www.nrpa.org/our-work/Grant-Fundraising-Resources/
Private grants for sports and recreational facilities development
In addition to government funding programs for sports field construction, financial support from private organizations for new construction or renovation of sports facilities is also possible. For example, the following are eligible.
Grant programs from professional sports leagues and associations
MLB / MLBPA – Youth Development Foundation Grant: Baseball Tomorrow Fund
Grant programs from private businesses and corporations
Dick’s Sporting Goods – Sports Matter Foundation Grant
Their mission is to inspire and enable high-poverty youth to participate in sports. This private grant program accepts applications from non-profit organizations and public schools for sports and recreational facility development. Maximum grant amount is set to $25,000.
More information: https://www.sportsmatter.org/s/grants-and-sponsorships
Foot Locker Foundation Community Empowerment Program
Grants for non-profit organizations to support capital improvement projects that enhance the impact of youth programming. These grants will range from $25,000 to $100,000 over one year.
Applicants from underserved communities must be from one of the following cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia or San Francisco.
ESPN Home Court Program
Provides non-profit and public schools (middle and high schools) with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local basketball courts in selected markets.
ESPN RePlay Program
The purpose of the ESPN RePlay Program is to repurpose vacant or underutilized spaces and rehabilitate recreational facilities in low to moderate income neighborhoods. Applicants from the following areas are eligible to apply: Newark NJ, Flint, MI, Milwaukee, WI and Cincinnati, OH.
More information: https://www.lisc.org/our-initiatives/sports-recreation/espn-replay/
A few words before you apply for funding
To be successful in seeking sports facility funding, it is important to have a good application. Starting with understanding the overall costs of your project. The easiest way to get the cost information is to use one of our sports facility calculators. After answering a few simple questions, the calculator send you a cost breakdown for your project.
Secondly you will need a good concept, it should highlight precisely why the project is necessary and beneficial, and therefore deserves funding.
In addition, there are numerous other organizations, such as foundations, that may be willing to support your project. These vary from region to region. It is best to do extensive research and seek advice from associations or other clubs/schools that have recently completed a similar project.