Illinois school district pays for fields with advertising woven into sidelines

Belleville Township (IL) High School District No. 201 is unveiling two new football and soccer fields this year thanks to a creative way of financing – weaving advertising logos into the fields’ sidelines. Byrne & Jones Sports will complete the $1.4 million synthetic turf fields this year.  More than a third of cost is funded by field ads and none of the funding comes from property taxes.  Belleville West High Schools new field debuted on Nov. 8 when the Maroons hosted defending state champion Chicago Mt. Carmel in a high school football playoff game. Belleville East High School’s new field will be finished in December of this year.

“We’ve received incredible community support for the new fields,” said Dr. Jeff Dosier, superintendent of Belleville District 201.  “The ad panels have been a great way to defray some of the costs and avoid allocating any property tax revenues to the project.   Businesses, civic leadership, booster clubs, parents and students have really step up to the plate to support the new fields.”

The seven-foot by 10-foot ad panels are custom made with the logos of supporters woven into the synthetic turf and placed along the sidelines of the dual football and soccer fields.  Firms are charged $12,000 for each turf ad, which can be paid off in five years.   To date, 23 businesses and organizations have committed to turf ads for each of the schools generating more than $500,000 for the project.  Among those commitments are Lindenwood University-Belleville, Bank of Belleville, Belleville Memorial Hospital, Mike’s Automotive, Chick-fil-A, Curt Smith Sporting Goods and other business and civic organizations in the district.  Additional funding has come through a bank loan and the district’s “Turf for the Teams” fundraisers, which is still accepting donations at

In managing the project, Byrne & Jones ensured the fields were supported by a strong sub base.  Joining Byrne & Jones on the project were Shaw Sports Turf and Millenia Professional Services.