The Belleville Township High School District in Belleville, Ill., is unveiling a new football and soccer field this year thanks to a creative way of financing — weaving advertising into the fields’ sidelines.
Byrne & Jones Sports will complete the $1.4 million synthetic turf fields. More than one-third of cost is funded by field ads and none of the funding is from property taxes. Belleville West High School’s new field debuted on Nov. 8, and Belleville East High School’s new field will be finished this month.
“We’ve received incredible community support for the new fields,” says Dr. Jeff Dosier, superintendent of the district. “The ad panels have been a great way to defray some of the costs and avoid allocating any property tax revenues to the project. Businesses, civic leadership, booster clubs, parents and students have really step up to the plate to support the new fields.”
The 7-foot by 10-foot ad panels are custom made, woven into the synthetic turf and placed along the sidelines of the dual fields.
Companies are charged $12,000 for each turf ad, which can be paid off in five years. To date, 23 businesses and organizations have committed to turf ads for each of the schools, generating more than $500,000 for the project. Among those commitments are Lindenwood University-Belleville, Bank of Belleville, Belleville Memorial Hospital, Mike’s Automotive, Chick-fil-A, Curt Smith Sporting Goods and other business and civic organizations in the district. Additional funding has come through a bank loan and the district’s “Turf for the Teams” fundraisers, which is still accepting donations at turffortheteams.org.
“This has been a new process for all of us, so it is great to have a highly experienced firm like Byrne & Jones Sports doing the installation.” Dosier says.
Belleville District 201 serves 4,800 students in St. Clair County, Ill., and the communities of Belleville, Fairview Heights, Swansea and Millstadt.