Orange Bowl breaks ground on stadium

BELLE GLADE — Palm Beach County and the Orange Bowl Committee broke ground on July 11 for a $3 million renovation of the existing football stadium and field at Glades Pioneer Park.

The new field, which will be called Orange Bowl Field, will include synthetic turf, an electronic scoreboard and an entry monument, along with new fencing, walkways and signage.

Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay was on hand for the groundbreaking and showed her appreciation to the Orange Bowl Committee.

“We’re very excited and grateful that the Orange Bowl Committee has selected Palm Beach County and Glades Pioneer Park as recipient of the Orange Bowl Legacy Gift for 2018,” said Mayor McKinlay. “The new Orange Bowl Field will allow for greater recreation programming and enhance the sense of community for residents of the Glades area.”

The Sun/Courtesy of the Orange Bowl Committee
Attending the groundbreaking, from left, are Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Director Eric Call, Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson, Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay, Orange Bowl President/Chairman Sean Pittman, Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker, Orange Bowl Legacy Gift Committee Chairman Matt Allan, Orange Bowl CEO Eric Poms and Obie the Orange.

Currently, the park serves as the playing site for several teams from the Glades Youth Football League, which is a current member of the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance (OBYFA). In addition, many current and former National Football League players from the area have used the field to conduct youth football camps.

Sean Pittman, a Palm Beach County native and president of the Orange Bowl Committee, was also on hand during the groundbreaking and knows firsthand how important football is to the residents in the Glades.

“The Orange Bowl Committee is proud to add Glades Pioneer Park to our Legacy Gift portfolio of park renovations and, specifically, as our first in Palm Beach County,” said Mr. Pittman. “The county, and Belle Glade in particular, has a rich football history and tradition of raising superstar athletes who began their careers in the Tri-Cities.”

“This park renovation is vitally needed to enable area youth the ability to carry on this incredible legacy and serve as home base for the football legends who came before. If any area deserves a state-of-the-art stadium, it’s the Glades community. The mission and vision of the Orange Bowl Committee is to inspire youth, engage our community and enhance South Florida, and the new Orange Bowl Field at Glades Pioneer Park will accomplish that and exceed expectations.”

This is the Orange Bowl’s fifth Legacy Gift to the South Florida community and the first in Palm Beach County. Combined, Orange Bowl Legacy Gift projects have provided nearly $16 million worth of improvements toward the beautification of the South Florida community and recreational park activities for residents and their families.

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