Print 

A partnership between the Chicago Fire, the U.S. Soccer Federation, the city of Chicago and the wealthiest person in Illinois will bring new places to play to underserved areas in the city.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Ken Griffin, a billionaire hedge fund manager, will partner with the soccer organizations to build 50 miniature-sized soccer pitches in neighborhoods around the city over the next five years. The fields, each about the size of a tennis court, will feature asphalt surfaces, soccer lines, small goals and fences to contain the ball.

The Soccer Federation said that in addition to the fields, they would provide after-school soccer programs to area youths.

“These mini-pitches will transform the everyday lives of Chicagoland children, and further grow the passion for soccer across our city,” said Fire owner Andrew Hauptman in a statement. “

Each pitch will cost a reported $60,000 to build. Griffin chipped in $3 million for the project.

Jason Scott is Online Managing Editor of Athletic Business.