Sal Longo & Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation

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Project Funded by Public & Private Partners, Including Local Businessman/Philanthropist Sal Longo & Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation


Mayor Robert Palmieri today announced the construction of a new athletic field will commence this fall at T.R. Proctor Park. 


The over $2 million project is a result of the generosity of Sal Longo, Founder & CEO of Northern Safety, and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, coupled with strong public and private partnerships the City has cultivated over the past several years.


The project partners consist of the following individuals/organizations;


  • Sal Longo Foundation


  • Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation


  • City of Utica


  • Funding Secured by Senator Joe Griffo


  • Funding Secured by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi


  • The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties


The multi-purpose field will be over 94,000 square feet in size, consist of synthetic turf and can be utilized for soccer, football, lacrosse and rugby among other sports. 


This project will provide a tremendous quality of life asset and serve as a catalyst for economic development as the proposed facility has already garnered interest among many groups to host sporting tournaments and special events.  


In addition, the project will consist of appropriate amenities including a field house, scoreboard, field lighting, bleachers and fielding perimeter fencing. 


The construction of the field is contingent on approvals from the Utica Common Council and the Utica Planning Board. 


Sal Longo, Founder & CEO of Northern Safety stated, “Proctor Park was a major part of my life for the first 20 years either playing Minor League, Little League, Pony League or Pop Warner football on these very fields. Having come from a large family of nine children and not having very much, my family would go to the park for picnics and recreation…and during high school and college, Proctor Park was a place to socialize with my friends.”

Mr. Longo continued, “I have been fortunate to have a successful career starting and building Northern Safety into what it is today, which has been the focus of my life for over 30 years.  I wanted to give back to the community and after much research, I felt that this multi-purpose field located in Proctor Park would provide tremendous value to the children and people of the City of Utica.”

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri stated, “The generosity of Sal Longo, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and advocacy from project partners will enhance the quality of life for countless children.  This is an exciting and transformative initiative that could not have come to fruition without everyone working together for the betterment of our community.”

Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation President and CEO Steve Salem stated, “Today is a great day for the kids of Utica, who will soon have a safe place to play learn and grow. We look forward to working together to bring new hope, lasting memories and positive life experiences to this deserving community.”

Senator Griffo stated, “As a former mayor, I know how important it is to have community assets such as athletic fields that are up-to-date, modernized and capable of supporting a wide variety of sporting interests. This facility has the potential to allow individuals and families to become more active and to greatly improve the quality of life for city residents and others. I am looking forward to watching as the project progresses.”

Assemblyman Brindisi stated, “I am pleased to have secured $175,000 from the state budget toward the development of this multi-purpose athletic facility.  Because soccer has become such an important part of many young people’s lives in Utica, it was time to update the soccer fields that had deteriorated due to their heavy use. This field also has been designed to allow children with special needs to participate. Because of these renovations, this field will continue to be an important recreational and educational resource for many children for years to come.”

Community Foundation President and CEO Alicia Dicks stated, “Providing our children safe places to play sports and build teamwork skills is essential to creating vibrant communities. The new field is a wonderful opportunity to engage children of all abilities in activities that promote their well-being and growth. Projects like the multi-purpose field enhance local athletic facilities, attract national teams, and promote community development to benefit all residents.”  

More information about the athletic field, including conceptual renderings can be found at