Under Armour Inc. unveiled its latest community contribution Tuesday — Banner Field at Locust Point’s Latrobe Park.
The 89,000-square-foot turf field includes a scoreboard, running path, bleachers and parking. Under Armour also upgraded the playground at Latrobe Park for younger children.
Banner Field will now be the location for Digital Harbor High School’s home varsity football games. Until now, the school had no home field.
“We should have state-of-the-art facilities here in Baltimore City,” said Councilman Bill Cole, who represents the Locust Point neighborhood, at the celebration Tuesday. “Every game the older teams played in AA County, or Howard County, or Montgomery County is played on sports turf. Every single game. Our student athletes in Baltimore City should have the same experience.”
Some of the project funds came from Fight Night, an event co-sponsored by Under Armour and Fight for Children, a Washington-based nonprofit that works toward bettering childhood education.
Banner Field was part of Under Armour’s WIN Baltimore initiative through which it contributes to area youth sports programs in various ways so that more children can access those activities. The company kicked off WIN Baltimore in 2012, when it chose Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School as its flagship school. That school’s new field opened last year.
The company also sponsored a new youth sports and education center in Patterson Park that opened in 2012.
“I was like a little kid on Christmas waking up this morning,” said Kevin Plank. “Only in America can you start a company in a basement some day and all of a sudden you can have the team and the resources to give back to your community.”
Plank said that the program is just getting started, but Under Armour spokespeople said they could not yet elaborate on WIN Baltimore’s next project.
Under Armour’s director of corporate giving, Stacey Ullrich, said future projects will include not just building play facilities but creating more ways for children to be active.
“A lot of it is programs,” she said, so that more students can get involved in activities like basketball, soccer, lacrosse and dance. “We want to make sure those programs exist, and that they’re sustainable.”