Hamline News

Alums Help Build Soccer Pitch in Hamline Park


Earlier this month, Hamline alumni Michael Abata ‘05 and Brent Reykdal ‘08 gathered with other Target representatives and members of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Minnesota United, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department, and the Friends of Hamline Park to officially unveil the new soccer mini-pitch constructed in Hamline Park.

The enclosed hard surface mini-pitch is one of 65 built to date by Target’s $6 million initiative. By 2020, the project hopes to complete 100 new mini-pitches in communities across the United States. These areas are perfect for city parks because they have a small footprint and do not require watering.

Abata is the Corporate Responsibility Marketing Strategist at Target. Reykdal serves as Target’s Corporate Responsibility Program Manager. They were heavily involved in the initiative that brought this new space to fruition.

“I was in charge of selecting the locations in the Twin Cities,” said Reykdal. “I knew about the Hamline-Midway area from my time at Hamline University and thought Hamline Park would be a great candidate for this project.”

Abata partnered with Twin Cities artist Adam Turman to create the beautiful windbreak that stretches across the far east side of the mini-pitch. He also organized an event to celebrate the opening of the pitch in partnership with Minnesota United FC.

“We’ve heard from communities across the country that these pitches are transforming the areas they’re located in,” added Abata. “They become a beacon of activity and create a gathering space for families to rally around. Not to mention getting more kids into soccer.”