Robert Kraft, owner of the Super Bowl champions New England Patriots, has announced he will donate $6 million to build Israel’s first regulation-sized American football stadium.
Reports cite that the new stadium will already open later this year. It will service the 1,350 active football players in Israel.
“This initiative originated from Israelis and Americans who simply wanted to play football,” Israel Football League CEO Betzalel Friedman told Tazpit Press Service. “But interest grew quickly. Football is a great opportunity to create bonds between teammates from all backgrounds.
“Our teams have to search high-and-low for practice fields during the football season. The shortage of proper fields has limited the quality and popularity of the game in the country.”
The football field is being built in cooperation with the Jerusalem Foundation, Moriah – Jerusalem Development Corporation and Israel’s Sports Betting Authority, according to a report in Algemeiner.
In related football news, a delegation of 11 NFL football players are heading to Israel next week for a visit set to commence on February 13.
Among those taking part in the delegation are Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, Martellus Bennett, Delanie Walker, Michael Kendricks, Cameron Jordan, Kenny Stills, Calais Campbell, Carlos Hyde, Dan Williams, and Justin Forsett. ESPN Football Commentator and former NFL Linebacker Kirk Morrison will also visit with the delegation.
“I see great importance in the arrival of this delegation of NFL stars to Israel. I have no doubt that their visit will be a powerful experience for them and I hope that, through their visit, they will get a balanced picture of Israel,” said Minister for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan.