Education

Cafaros Donate $1.5M for YSU Intramural Sports Complex

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Cafaro family has donated $1.5 million to the Youngstown State University Foundation’s We See Tomorrow campaign to support the construction of a complex for intramural sports.

The complex, named Cafaro Family Field, will be built on the north side of campus along Elm Street. Renderings show an athletic field with bleachers, a concession area and a field marked for soccer, football, rugby and lacrosse.

“This is truly a family gift. Every person in our family has shown incredible support for this gift,” said Anthony Cafaro Sr. at the announcement.

This school year, Youngstown State will offer eight intramural leagues – four in each semester; fall and spring – in flag football, soccer, basketball and volleyball, as well as several one-day tournaments for table tennis, bowling, basketball and more.

“With so many more students on campus, we want to make sure that we provide an environment that meets the needs of our students, including recreation,” said director of campus recreation Joy Pokabla Byers in a release. “This will allow our students to take pride in showcasing our university to visiting club teams, which is important for our recruitment and retention of club sport athletes.”

YSU’s enrollment has risen three of the past four years and this year’s freshman class is 32% larger than four years ago.

“As our residential student population continues to grow, it is important that we provide the recreational opportunities needed to serve those students,” said YSU President Jim Tressel in a statement. “We thank the Cafaro family for again stepping forward to meet those needs.”

Over the past 25 years, the Cafaro family has donated more than $5 million to YSU for building projects and scholarships. William M. Cafaro, was a “key advocate,” YSU said, in the university’s becoming a state school in 1968 and a co-founder of the YSU Foundation.

Pictured: A rending of Cafaro Family Field.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.