Illustration of proposed Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: DAGAN COMPANY/COURTESY)
Robert Kraft has donated $6 million for the development of the Kraft Family Sports Campus, a multi-purpose sports center located in Emek Ha’Arazim in Jerusalem. This significant contribution by the Jewish owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots is part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and the 20th Maccabiah Games, which will be hosted in Jerusalem in July 2017.
“The Kraft Family Sports Campus will be an integral part of Jerusalem’s burgeoning sports renaissance, which includes the opening of many new arenas and dozens of international sporting events each year,” read a statement from the Jerusalem Municipality. “The establishment of the Kraft Family Sports Campus is an unprecedented cornerstone of this renaissance, among other things, expanding the culture of US football in Jerusalem, and serving as a complement to the existing Kraft Family Field in Sacher Park.”
The Kraft Family Sports Campus is being established in collaboration with the Jerusalem Foundation and the Jerusalem Development Company – Moriah.
The Campus will include soccer fields, a dual-use US regulation football and soccer field, locker rooms and administrative offices, a central pedestrian thoroughfare, parking and an access road, with plans in the pipeline to add numerous additional facilities.
The first stage of development of the sports campus is currently underway.
The campus is scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.
“The Kraft Family Sports Campus allows me to invest in two things that I have always been very passionate about: My love of Israel and my support for youth athletics and team sports, especially American football,” said Kraft. “I fell in love with Israel on my first visit in 1963 and have been investing in its future ever since. I have seen the positive impact team sports can have, not just on the individuals who participate, but in the communities that support them. They help unify those who might otherwise be divided by cultural differences.
Team athletics have proven to develop leadership, provide examples of success through teamwork and promote health and fitness. My family and I are proud to establish this large scale, multi-sports complex, which is the first of its kind in Jerusalem.”
Mayor Nir Barkat added: “The Kraft Family Sports Campus is a central part of my vision for Jerusalem as an international capital of sport and athleticism.
My dear friend, Robert Kraft, has been an unwavering partner in the growth and development of Jerusalem. This gift, which helps celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification, furthers Robert and his family’s commitment to the capital of Israel, and to enhancing sport and particularly football in Jerusalem.”