Seattle Sounders FC today announced that its charitable arm, RAVE Foundation, is launching the 26 Fields by 2026 campaign as part of the club’s effort to bring play equity to youth in our state through its Defend the Right to Play social justice arena for change. Through this campaign, RAVE Foundation’s goals are:
- Build 26 fields by the year 2026 in historically marginalized communities through Washington, with the target date of completion in time for FIFA World Cup 2026™.
- Provide a free soccer ball to every child who lives within one mile walking distance to each field.
- Invest in programs on and around those fields that use soccer as a vehicle support children’s health and well-being.
The campaign kick-off is being featured on Saturday, March 12 at 12:30 p.m. PT during Sounders FC’s match vs. the LA Galaxy at Lumen Field.
“RAVE Foundation is thrilled to officially announce our 26 Fields by 2026 campaign,” said Sounders FC Vice President of Philanthropy and RAVE Foundation Executive Director Ashley Fosberg. “The campaign’s goal is a big one: to build 26 small soccer fields for free play in our region, and to ensure all children living near those fields have their own soccer ball to play with. Equally important to the fields are the programs we invest in communities that surround them. These community-informed, responsive programs that use soccer to foster health, learning and joy are critical to RAVE’s long-term relationship with communities we support. We are passionate advocates of play equity in our region and believe strongly that soccer, the world’s sport, is a unifier and a tool for good. We are excited to bring the 26 by 2026 vision to life.”
As part of the campaign’s kick-off event on March 12, fans are invited to support the 26 by 2026 campaign through a matchday auction featuring player autographed items and Sounders FC experiences. This auction items will be on display in Lumen Field’s northwest field level and bidding is taking place online at Sounders.Givesmart.com. The auction opens for bidding at noon on Friday, March 11, and closes at the end of halftime of Saturday’s match.
Also, each home match throughout the remainder of the 2022 Sounders FC season will feature RAVE Community Kids of the Match as a live pre-match highlight on Soundervision. At Saturday’s match, youth from White Center Heights Elementary, a potential future site for a RAVE Foundation field, will be celebrated. A group of youth from different RAVE field communities will be featured each match.
The 26 Fields by 2026 campaign is designed around RAVE’s core beliefs:
- Play is not a privilege. It is essential to the growth and wellbeing of all children.
- A dedicated space to play can anchor a community and nurture a child.
- Play fields and corresponding programming provide access and opportunity which are catalysts toward equity.
- Through play, everyone belongs. Children thrive when they have a sense of belonging.
To date, RAVE has built nine fields throughout the region and plans to build seven more in 2022, including two in Yakima at Barge-Lincoln Elementary. A highlight this season is the opening of two small turf fields in NewHolly, a culturally-rich, diverse and thriving Seattle Housing Authority development located between Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley.