This time next year, the Northeast High School Vikings could be playing their home football games on their own field.
Thanks in part to a $200,000 grant from the NFL, one of a handful nationwide, the school’s old field will be replaced with a new one with artificial turf. The school is at 415 Van Brunt Blvd.
For now, Northeast’s team, like many others in the Kansas City school district, is playing on Bryan Field at Interscholastic League Stadium, 3500 E. Meyer Blvd. That field was redone last year with money from a similar NFL grant awarded in 2013.
Kansas City Public Schools and the Greater Kansas City LISC, in partnership with the Chiefs, went after the NFL grant, and the school district will add money to cover the cost of the field replacement. A $25,000 grant from ESPN will go toward a new scoreboard.
Without the grants, “we don’t have the capital to replace a field,” said district spokeswoman Eileen Houston-Stewart.
Community teams will be able to practice on the new field, she said.
“We have been hopeful to improve this field for many years,” said LISC executive director Stephen Samuels. “… We are not only creating a place for young people to compete in football and other sports, we are also helping to make our neighborhoods better and stronger.”
On Tuesday, Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson and other teammates — along with Samuels, Kansas City Public Schools interim superintendent Al Tunis and Chiefs senior vice president Bill Chapin — plan to show up at Vikings football practice to celebrate the grant and give students a chance to run drills with Chiefs players.