Tufts University makes athletic fields and facilities available to Somerville to address shortage

Agreement between university and city example of Tufts' commitment to strengthening host communities

Triangle Field

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Aug. 28, 2018)—Tufts University provided Somerville's youth sports programs with daily access to its athletic fields and facilities for over 450 hours this year in an effort to help address a shortage of city space. The arrangement – which benefitted sports like basketball, softball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse and baseball –continues Tufts' commitment to supporting the university's host communities.

Athletic fields and large indoor spaces can be difficult to find in the City of Somerville, the most densely populated municipality in New England. Ones that are available are often only available at a premium.

An agreement between Tufts and Somerville allowed the city's young athletes to hold daily practices and games indoors in Carzo Cage and Cousens Gymnasium and outdoors on the Fletcher Tennis Courts, Field C, Triangle Field and Ounjian Field, a state-of-the-art AstroTurf playing surface.

By opening up its fields and facilities to the community, the university is able to save the city money on facility fees, and relieve the congestion at Somerville's other spaces.

In addition to athletic events and practices, Tufts hosted Somerville's Scrapheap Showdown in the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center and the Higgins Foundation annual fundraiser in Carzo Cage. Somerville High School also held graduation exercises for the Highlander Class of 2018 in Tufts' Gantcher Center in June.

"We are delighted to welcome our young neighbors to the Tufts campus and encourage their athletic participation," said Tufts University President Anthony P. Monaco. "Tufts is devoted to supporting our host communities as an extension of our educational mission, and we look forward to continuing to work with the City of Somerville."

"It is an absolute pleasure and joy working with Tufts to alleviate pressures on our current fields, and helping to address field shortages," said Jill Lathan, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Somerville. "The city has more recreational and athletic needs than ever, and, given current availability in Somerville, we could not provide space for everyone without Tufts. The university staff is very friendly, helpful and accommodating. We look forward to a continued partnership between Somerville and Tufts."

Tufts supports its local communities through a variety of programs, resources and volunteer efforts, a number of which involve Tufts' student-athletes. For example:

  • In January, Tufts' Cousens Gymnasium hosted the 2nd annual Tufts Classic, boys' and girls' high school basketball games between rival teams the Medford Mustangs and Somerville Highlanders. At this year's Classic, winter clothing items were collected and given to the Somerville Homeless Coalition.
  • Tufts invites college-bound Somerville High School students to campus every year for the "Let's Get Ready" SAT prep program.
  • And 13 Somerville community-based nonprofit organizations received grants from the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund, funded by donations from university faculty and staff.

For more information on team-specific community engagement, please visit: http://www.gotuftsjumbos.com/information/saac.

To learn more about how Tufts is involved in its local communities, visit https://communityrelations.tufts.edu/.


About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

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