By Rielle Creighton

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach Senior High hosted a unique groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning.

It was a star-studded event with football legends and many public officials from the City of Miami Beach, Miami Dade Schools, and the NFL as they turned sand on a more than one million dollar investment – a new athletic field for the school.

“All chipped in to basically put together a top-notch field here where a terrible field currently exists so that our kids have something to proud of,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

Gelber was instrumental in making it happen, thanks to a large chunk of money provided by the Miami Dolphins, the NFL, and the Super Bowl Host Committee who went looking for a legacy project, something to leave behind after the big game in Miami next year – an even playing field.

“We wanted to ensure that we provide these kids with a safe environment for them to be able to play on have fun and excel,” said Rashad D. Thomas with the Super Bowl Host Committee.

“I remember having to play on these fields out here many many years ago twisting a few ankles,” said Chad Johnson.

Johnson, a Miami Beach Senior High alum and ‘96 grad, played on the old field. He said playing football changed his life.

“It allowed me to become a man, the coaches, the staff the people that were a part of my life, it helped groom and shape me for the future,” he said.

Artificial turf will replace the grass. The components of the new field were developed through a major collaboration that included football greats like former Dolphins wide receiver Nat Moore. The new athletic field, he said, is about so much more than just new turf.

“It’s about character development, we’re trying to get back to the character we want in our football program,” said Moore.

The field is expected to be completed by the time the Super Bowl arrives in Miami in February of 2020.

Rielle Creighton

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