Local Football League Fears Relocation Due To Obama Library

CHICAGO (CBS) — A community football league could be playing its last homecoming game at Jackson Park, as that’s where the Obama Presidential Library is set to be built.

Coach Ernest Radcliffe got emotional as he looked out at the field Sunday afternoon, located at 61st and Stony Island.

“I give it not 100 percent, I give it 250 percent to make sure that every kid out here is safe,” Radcliffe said, “As you can see, everybody is having a good time.”

a Local Football League Fears Relocation Due To Obama Library

Both current and former players say it’s about more than just football. (Photo: Michele Fiore/WBBM)

Radcliffe started the Wolfpack team in 1997. He called this 20th, and maybe last, homecoming ‘The Last Ride,’ as their future is uncertain.

They’ve been told the field will be moved just two blocks south, but so far, they don’t have a Community Benefits Agreement, which would put in writing the commitment to replace and improve the parkland and sports fields that the league has used for two decades.

21 Local Football League Fears Relocation Due To Obama Library

Radcliff said once the field is displaced, there will be greater demand for less field space, which could push them out of the park. (Photo: Michele Fiore/WBBM)

“Just like a church” Radcliff said, “that field is our sanctuary, it’s where we do mentoring with youth and parents.”

Radcliffe says in the team’s 20-year history, more than 1,000 kids have gone through the program.

“Mrs. Obama is very big on representing the youth, so we trust in God, and I know everything will work out for the best.”

The homecoming included games for 7 to 9-year-olds, 10 to 11-year-olds, 12 to 13-year-olds, and the main event for 13 to 14-year-olds.

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