ROSELAND — Rival high schools will play their first football game in a new $3 million stadium in Roseland Saturday.
Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory School, 250 E. 111th St., will compete against Perspectives Leadership Academy. The game kicks off at noon Saturday.
The new stadium is another way to bring people to the community, said 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale, who helped design the stadium seven years ago.
“It's another destination where people come into the community and they can see some positive things happening,” Beale said.
It seats 700 people, but Beale said he’s working on getting funding to add more seating.
Before the game, parents, students, alumni and more will join in a celebration with Beale. City and Chicago Public Schools officials will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. Special guest Alexandria Anderson, U.S. track and field world champion, will be present.
The state-of-the art, multisport stadium for Brooks, a selective-enrollment high school, will add to the richness of the historic neighborhood, Beale said.
What’s unique about the stadium is the year-round playing surface, which is blue, he said. It can be used for football, soccer and track and field. It will be one of only a few Chicago Public Schools to have a stadium on its campus.
“I want this to be a complete one-stop shop for track and field, soccer and football,” Beale said.
“What I'm trying to do is make sure education is first and foremost, but also create an environment to where we are producing extremely smart, well-skilled athletes and this is just another avenue in order to make that happen,” he said.
His vision for the neighborhood extends beyond the stadium, he said.
Beale said he would like to see the stadium used by other schools and local sports teams — not just the high school. He’s also working on bringing an indoor sports facility to his ward.
“We're creating something very special on the Far South Side to where I want people to want to come in the community and stay in it and utilize these amenities we're trying to put together,” he said.