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NFL Renovates Gwen Cherry Park Football Field As Roger Goodell Surprises School Principals With Super Bowl Tickets

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Super Bowl 54 is about more than just the big game. The NFL is also doing its part to invest in the surrounding communities for the future of football.

As part of the NFL's Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, a who's who of Miami leaders, including Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, joined NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning at Gwen Cherry Park, the location of one of three youth football field refurbishment projects.

Gwen Cherry Park Super Bowl Grant Presser
Gwen Cherry Park ribbon cutting. (CBS4)

The NFL converted the grass fields to synthetic turf at Gwen Cherry Park, and also Goulds Park and Miami Beach High School.



"To try to give back to the community that's done such a wonderful job hosting the Super Bowl, this is the right place for us to celebrate that," said Goodell.

The program is also renovating the lighting in Bayfront Park and creating an Outdoor Fitness Zone at Plantation Heritage Regional Park in Broward County.

The renovation project was hailed as an investment in the future.

"Well after Shakira is done performing at halftime, when we know who the winner is, the kids are the true winners," said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

But it is bigger than football and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said they all understand that.

"Owning a team you have a responsibility to the community that's why when I first bought the team I said 'You have to have an impact'."

Part of the event was celebrating those who have made an impact like two Miami-Dade school principals who've turned their schools around, made strides academically and who have championships under their belt.

They also happen to be brothers, Wallace Aristede, Principal at Miami Northwestern and William Aristede, Principal at Booker T. Washington were handed two tickets, "golden tickets" to the Super Bowl by Goodell.

The brothers were shocked and excited.

"This represents all the good that's happening with our schools with our community," said William Aristide. "So when Roger Goodell presented us these tickets I was like 'What?'"

His brother Wallace exclaimed, "We're going to the Super Bowl!"

The unveiling of the newly refurbished field was followed by an NFL Huddle for 100 volunteerism event at the NFL Youth Education Town (YET) at Gwen Cherry Park attended by students, volunteers and NFL players and legends. The students participated in a PLAY 60 clinic on the new field as well.

These community improvement projects are made possible each year by a $1 million contribution from the NFL Foundation and matched by the Super Bowl Host Committee.

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