December 30, 2004

DECEMBER 30, 2004

PATERSON, NEW JERSEY - The National Football League announced Wednesday that it is contributing $200,000 toward the renovation of historic and decrepit Hinchliffe Stadium.

The grant money is earmarked for a new, synthetic playing surface, upgrades to lighting and seating, an irrigation system and new track and field facilities.

Built in 1932 and used for high school football, the 7,500-seat stadium is best known for its role in professional baseball as home to the New York Black Yankees of the Negro National League in the 1930s and '40s. It has been closed since 1997 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The grant came from the NFL Grass Roots Program, a partnership between the NFL Youth Football Fund, the NFL Players Association, the Local Initiatives Support Corp. and the New York Giants. The grass-roots program awarded $2.5 million to projects in poor neighborhoods in NFL markets nationwide this year. Hinchliffe Stadium received one of the largest grants, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.