Beautification Sustainability Non-profit Education Sports
Status: Funded

Project Blacktop: Minimum Funding Needed is $10,000

Submitted By:
Tim Cooney
on 12.03.12

Tim Cooney

Project Blacktop: Minimum Funding Needed is $10,000

Project Blacktop is an idea for a nonprofit charity whose goal is to beautify urban areas of St. Louis with functional outdoor basketball courts that serve as hubs for the neighborhood and host community building events. Our minimum goal is $10,000. This amount would fund a half court. Our over-all goal is $15,000 so we can fund a full court. Location TBD.

Project Blacktop aims to renovate or build basketball courts that are eye-catching and appealing. These courts will have green space around them. There are many empty unused lots in St. Louis and these courts would be the perfect opportunity to renovate ugly lots. Once built, these courts would be opened with a block party inviting the neighborhood, and have a basketball clinic for children or a 3 on 3 basketball tournament to participate in. The courts would have to be well lit for night time activities.

Funding Project Blacktop would look for funding from donors, but mainly they would host 3 on 3 basketball tournaments for charity and helping these basketball courts stay nice, well groomed and able to host events for the surrounding neighborhood. These potential 3 on 3 tournaments do not have to be within the neighborhood, they can be anywhere in St. Louis while raising awareness about St. Louis's growing unused, empty lot problem within the city. These courts would be sustainable in that their basketball courts would be lit by solar power and the money to support them would be raised within the community. During summer months these basketball courts could be used to host a summer basketball league where potential St. Louis basketball celebrities or NBA players would attend and draw crowds to support our city and support basketball within St. Louis. Weekend Clinics would happen often and could be hosted by the areas college teams such as SLU and Wash U.'s Men's and Women's basketball teams. These courts would provide a great way for kids to get out in the community and have a positive example of a neighborhood to lean on.


zzellers said 7/28/2017

Is this still going on? I would definitely support this hard if there is still money towards this. STL needs more courts for sure.


pruellagek said 5/3/2013

Tillis park on hampton would be a nice option

Barbara Linnard

Barbara Linnard said 4/24/2013

Great project, Tim! Congrats on your BB achievements, too! Good luck with Project Blacktop! "If you build it, they will come!" ~ Field of Dreams From two long-time Cooney family admirers from Boxborough.

Olin Graczyk

Olin Graczyk said 4/12/2013

I have to agree w/ a lot of the sentiment here. As much as I LOVE basketball, simply putting more courts up around urban areas does not paint a complete picture of all that must be done. How will these courts be maintained? Who will be responsible for policing the riffraff?

Tim Cooney

Tim Cooney said 3/7/2013

@palankl @SJ Fults I'll definitely look into both of your proposals, I think Fox Park could definitely be a great start to doing some active community events such as clinics for kids or tournaments for active adults. I'll be in touch! @stlgrrl I think you are misguided about the whole idea of the project I'm trying to implement. The plan is to improve areas of the city which are not very active or involved in the community. Once the court is built, that is only the beginning of the project. The idea is to have activities and events planned consistently so that it doesn't become a hub for criminal activity, but rather a hub for community activities. Once you build a sense of community people will take ownership of the space and make it something positive. Obviously, there is some risk in this plan, but I think putting together a concentrated effort with a common goal is better than the city slapping a basketball court down and leaving it without any guidance or programming. I think you saying the idea flat out "will not work" is an incredibly pessimistic view of the people of St. Louis. Have a little faith.


stlgrrl said 3/7/2013

As a city resident for about a decade, I would like to enlighten you to the fact that there aren't many outdoor basketball courts for a reason in the urban areas. They put one up across the street from my apartment once, for a local private school across the street, and immediately drug dealers and gang members showed up. Kids would be playing at recess and folks would be dealing drugs right out in the open. I am not exaggerating. Unless you can suggest a SUSTAINABLE way to keep the lots well maintained and policed indefinitely - and this is key - your idea will not work. In fact this will cause more of a problem than solve.


palankl said 3/7/2013

Fox Park's dilapidated basketball court is scheduled to be replaced in Spring 2013. Funds are already in place thanks to the Aldermen (women) and our park committee, who decided to save the court instead of demolishing it like so many in S. City (where the neighbors believed basketball courts brought in thugs.) We in Fox Park would love for you to host a program like yours on our court before your proposal is completed. For more details see

SJ Fults

SJ Fults said 3/4/2013

Appreciate the idea, but have you guys ever driven around St. Louis city? There are a ton of outdoor basketball courts that already exist. Maybe you should focus on cleaning those up before more are created.

Andrea Heugatter

Andrea Heugatter said 3/3/2013

I love this idea. Since I live in St Louis city, I see the true need for a clean and well maintained area for our youth to enjoy some great BB or pick-up games. Tim, have you checked with larger corporations about matching funds for employees that make donations? You have my pledge!


sluhfan said 2/20/2013

What a marveous idea! You probably have done this, but if you did I missed easy for me to miss stuff! You might contact Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, Matthews Dickey, Loyola Academy, Miriam Middle School, etc. for contacts in the city who may be willing to help with location, funding and permissions.


lboogz said 12/20/2012

I think we should combine this idea with the "Local League STL" idea.

Gina D

Gina D said 12/20/2012

Tim, cool idea for unused lots in the city, could you provide more insight on how this will be executed- lease lots, buy lots, rent lots? essentially what is the business plan? who maintains them, pays for repairs. The City has a hard time doing all these things with thier deep resources. I think you will get even more support with the business case. let's play some bball!

Michael Powers

Michael Powers said 12/17/2012

Tim, it looks like there's some concern over policing the new spaces. Tell your folks to vote Lighten Up STL in addition to your idea and we can ensure the areas around the courts are properly lit by the city and ball players feel safe walking from home to the court! :)

Tim Cooney

Tim Cooney said 12/17/2012

Let's try and redirect the conversation back to realistic comments and concerns on the ideas of RallSTL. Let's not turn something great into an immature bashfest blog. Thanks for the support thus far!


vindeiselfan68 said 12/17/2012

This is the original vindeiselfan69. I'm sorry that all of that negativity came about in the other posts from a person who used my user name. Great things is that 5 of these great projects get to have their ideas realized in St. Louis. Although this is my idea of choice, and I share a similar (less vulgar/mean) opinion about the mural project, I think it's great that all of these ideas are posted. "Some men just want to watch the world burn"- Alfred


ksanner said 12/17/2012

Let's keep the comments to constructive criticism or positive things on here. No need to bash each other. Keep in mind the purpose of the Rally Project. Happy Voting!


RedBird2011 said 12/17/2012

ya, vindeisel this is Rally STL not just Rally Project blacktop, quit slaming others innovative and creative ideas. shame on you.


vindeiselfan69 said 12/17/2012

you're absolutely right, shame on me. everyone stop voting for this idea I done something stupid and childish, vote for other GREAT Saint Louis ideas, the last thing downtown needs is more blacktops and drug dealing venues.

joe O

joe O said 12/17/2012

Vindeisel69, we see you slamming other posts in this contest to rally behind your own interest. If you don't like other ideas on this site don't vote for them. You're not improving the city by placing childish comments on others pages.


jerryseinfeld said 12/14/2012

i'm with @Rhett. let's make yu-gi-oh dueling zones! project yu-gi-oh dueling zones and you got me and @Rhett on board!


vindeiselfan69 said 12/14/2012

I think that this is an excellent idea. Not only will the courts provide a space for kids to do something worthwhile - be it basketball, four square, tennis, etc - but they will also give the neighborhood around them a sense of community. From community involvement a sense of pride will evolve, and with that usually comes community maintenance. Great work

Gym Rat

Gym Rat said 12/12/2012

I think that this is a great idea and I will support it. I've known Tim for a long time and have watched him play for many years. I also know that he is passionate about basketball and all that is near and dear to him. I wish him the best in this endeavor.

Tim Cooney

Tim Cooney said 12/12/2012

@Erich - Celebrity and collegiate backing is definitely the plan. As a member of WashU's Men's team I know that WashU Athletics would definitely support a cause like this. @Patrick McEvoy - neighborhood security is a great idea to keep the areas safe and the neighborhood families comfortable with having a park nearby.

Patrick McEvoy

Patrick McEvoy said 12/11/2012

@Tim Cooney appreciate the response. Keeping it well lit will certainly help. Possibly having some sort of neighborhood security (such as off-duty police officers) could help too. Similar to what they do in the CWE.


Erich said 12/11/2012

As long as they are maintained and supported, I think the basketball court idea is a good one. With that said, not all residents would be thrilled with having a basketball court across the street from them. People call the police now for kids playing in parks if its anywhere near after hours. With proper execution and placement, this could be very successful. I would love for some celebrity or collegiate backing on these.


selecao_no9 said 12/11/2012

there's 100+ courts all over Manhattan, no problem with their property values. 50 basketball courts wouldn't even begin to put a dent in the swath of empty lots in St. Louis. Your fears are unfounded and kind of offensive.

Tim Cooney

Tim Cooney said 12/11/2012

@Rhett First, I think "50 basketball courts" is a little excessive, I would never ask for that. Second, Project Blacktop is the result of basketball being a passion of mine. I think that with all of these ideas on RallySTL there has to be some direction with them. I cannot suggest to provide a swimming pool, soccer field, tennis court, sand volleyball court everywhere. A basketball court is a multi-purpose surface that could very easily be transformed into a space to play futsal, tennis, roller hockey, or even hold an event like a neighborhood flea market or farmer's market. @Patrick McEvoy I think first of all keeping these courts well-lit and well groomed would be a start to keeping them free of crime. Also, the plan is to give the neighborhoods some ownership of these courts by making them "little parks" where neighborhoods can gather, take their kids on weekends for sports clinics, come by and have a neighborhood flea market or garage sale on Sundays, or have adult basketball and futsal leagues in warmer months. By keeping these courts involved I believe that you keep them free of crime.

Patrick McEvoy

Patrick McEvoy said 12/11/2012

How do you plan on keeping these free of crime? There's a reason why there aren't basketball courts all over the city right now.


Rhett said 12/10/2012

I’m just not sure why we need 50 basketball courts floating around the city. I mean, what’s that going to do for the kid who hates basketball? I think turning these empty lots into something useful and functional for youths and the community in general is a great idea, but to just assume that everyone wants a basketball court would be off base. The usage of a particular vacant lot should be determined by the residents within that community.

Tim Cooney

Tim Cooney said 12/10/2012

@Keith Jacobs, Project Blacktop will transform empty, unused space into something positive, I don't think the plan is to have expensive apartments popping up around these basketball courts, but rather to build community hubs to keep St. Louisans active and involved. Also, these courts are not exclusively in the neighborhoods with the highest crime and drop out rates, the plan is to place them all over the city (Tower Grove, U.City, CWE, Midtown, Soulard, or anywhere really).


schafftron said 12/10/2012

How many stereotypes about black youth and urban problems can you possibly fit into a single submission?

Keith Jacobs

Keith Jacobs said 12/10/2012

How is this going to transform the city? I think adding some bball courts is a good idea, but magically now kids are going to stop dropping out of school and will just play basketball all day instead of crime? And all the abandoned buildings outside those lots will become high priced apartments?


ksanner said 12/8/2012

This is such a cool idea! Not only would it get kids outside and active, but it would transform much of the wasted space throughout the city into something useful!