It may be more than three years away, but it’s not too early to get excited about Tampa’s next Super Bowl, especially for some kids in East Tampa who have benefited in a big way from the league’s charitable arm.
The NFL helped build Youth Education Towns centers in every Super Bowl city since 1993.
The league built The Jackson Heights YET Center in 2001, and then when the Tampa hosted another game in 2009, the league donated another $500 thousand for an expansion.
“If they wouldn’t have built that, what would we be doing right now?” Said Omaro Buggs, who has been coming to the center since he could walk.
He says the facility keeps kids out of trouble and off the streets.
The Jackson Heights NFL YET Center includes a gymnasium, weight room, game room, and a new multi-media studio for kids to create music and TV shows.
“Every night we average probably 40 to 50 kids coming out,” said Jamal Jefferson, Supervisor at the facility.
This past fall, the Glazer Family Foundation helped get the facility a state of the art football field.
And who knows what is in store after 2021, when Raymond James plays host to Super Bowl 55.
“Every time they come we realize the children are going to get something new, something different added to what we already have,” said Dianne Hart, NFL Advisory Chair.
The center is free to all kids in the city who have a membership.