On September 21, 2019, the Chicago Lions Rugby Football Club fulfilled a dream of over 50 years to own their own field within Chicago city limits. In partnership with Chicago Hope Academy, the first field of the Lions for Hope Sports Complex was completed. The field is named after past Lions President, J. Tyke Nollman, who passed away in 2015.
The Lions built a premier artificial turf field lined for rugby and soccer with parking and stands serving East Garfield Park and North Lawndale. There are temporary bathrooms, locker rooms and a multi-purpose room all built out of shipping containers. So far, the gated complex has received rave reviews from the rugby and soccer community.
We are referring to the combined Hope/Lions land and multiple facilities as a campus. Starting south, we have the Lions for Hope Sports Complex (the South Parcel) bordered by Taylor and Polk Streets. Across the street to the North is what we call the North parcel that will have the new Chicago Hope Academy campus with their field and track. North of that bordering Harrison is the Hope Student Athletic Center (formerly known as Quest) and across the street is Altgeld Park.
When everything is finished, this “campus” will have facilities available for the west side youth that will compare to what the suburban kids take for granted.
The entire facility has the capacity to include the following:
- Rooms for educational experiences
- Space to house activities for community organizations
- Dog park
- Space for walking and leisure
- Two artificial turf lighted fields for rugby, soccer, baseball and other field sports, as well as potentail for golf, and other programs
- Seating for the main field (capacity from 3,000 to 5,500)
- Fieldhouse with a range of amenities for players, guests and community
- Main room capable of hosting events
- Commercial kitchen
- Deck and viewing area with visibility to both fields
- Four locker rooms with plumbing
- Multi-purpose room (weight room/athletic trainer)
- Concession stand
- Dome East field for use throughout the winter
- General green space
Ways to Support
This is a great opportunity to give back to the Chicago community!
- Spread the word about the campaign through your social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
- Connect us with individuals, corporations, or foundations that may be interested in this project
- Donate to the campaign at www.lionsforhopesc.org/donate/
Let's Work Together
If you’re interested in helping the CLCA and want to learn more, please get in touch. If you do not wish to donate online, you can mail a donation to:
Chicago Lions Charitable Association
PO Box 532
Northbrook, IL 60065
The Lions for Hope Sports Complex is located at 2637 West Polk Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612.
President, Chicago Lions Rugby