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Lawrence athletic field hits new heights

Developer, Gov. Baker celebrate a new turf sports field atop a garage in Lawrence’s Riverwalk development

Pavilion Field at Riverwalk opened Wednesday atop a parking garage in Lawrence, boasting a full-size turf field for soccer and American football.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

When it comes time to suit up for a Pop Warner game in Lawrence now, many kids will head for the rooftop.

Developer and pizza magnate Sal Lupoli cut the ribbon on an unusual piece of his Riverwalk development in Lawrence on Wednesday: A regulation-sized field for football, soccer, or lacrosse with a practice area, on top of a three-story parking garage.

With the windows of a redeveloped mill behind them, kids from the Lawrence Pop Warner organization play football on the new field at a ribbon-cutting event on Wednesday.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

The turf field, dubbed the Pavilion Field at Riverwalk, is already rented out for practices and games by a variety of Merrimack Valley organizations. Lupoli Cos. has donated use of the field to the city’s Pop Warner football program as well as its Beyond Soccer program. The 1,250-space garage below the field is attached to an 80,000-square-foot building that will feature stores and restaurants. Together, the garage, adjacent building, and turf field cost about $85 million. Governor Charlie Baker attended the ribbon-cutting; his administration has provided millions in subsidies for the broader Riverwalk development, which includes hundreds of apartments and small businesses.

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“This is the sort of thing,” Baker said, “that gives people a sense of place and a sense of pride for their community.”

Visitors gather for an event Wednesday to celebrate a new athletic field atop a parking garage along the Merrimack River in Lawrence.Lane Turner/Globe Staff



Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.