The City’s Rebuild program invests $7.5 Million in the Lawrence E. Murphy Recreation Center in South Philly

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PHILADELPHIA (June 21, 2023) – This afternoon, Mayor Jim Kenney, City officials, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia and community members broke ground at the Lawrence E. Murphy Recreation Center located in South Philly. The $7.5 million of improvements at Murphy Rec Center were made possible by the city’s Rebuild program, Philadelphia’s $500 million historic investment in public spaces, and supported in part by Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia committing $750,000 to the project.

“What a great day to be in South Philadelphia, where I grew up, to celebrate the groundbreaking of Murphy Rec Center,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I remember when I was a kid playing here at Murphy, I always felt safe and joyful. The children of South Philly can now have that same feeling here at Murphy.”

“Murphy Rec is personal to me. My friends and I played on this field when we were young, as did my children and their friends, so it is very gratifying for me to be a part of this great Rebuild renovation project! Generations of Philadelphia children have used the field for many years, despite its condition.  Now I can look forward to my grandchildren and their friends playing on a state-of-the-art field,” said Mark Squilla, Councilmember (1st district).

In 1964, this site was renamed in honor of Lawrence E. Murphy. Lawrence was a dedicated employee of the recreation department for 37 years and worked at this site when it was known as Greenwich Recreation Center. The improvements coming to Murphy Recreation Center were informed by Rebuild’s deep community engagement process aggregating feedback and design ideas from neighbors.

“Rebuild is so excited to kick off investments here at Murphy Rec,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director for Rebuild. “Our community engagement process showed a deep love of outdoor sports like baseball, soccer, softball and football.  We’re so excited for this community to get the upgraded facilities they deserve.”

“Giving back to the communities where our employees and guests live and work is in our DNA at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia,” said Joe Billhimer, Chief Operating & Development Officer at Cordish Gaming Group. “The South Philadelphia community welcomed us with open arms when we opened our property two short years ago, so we’re thrilled to partner with Rebuild and the City of Philadelphia to give these South Philly families a safe place to come together and create lasting memories. These families deserve the very best and we can’t wait to welcome them to the transformed Murphy Rec Center later this year.”

Totaling $7.5 million in investment, the Murphy Rec Center will be updated with the following:

  • Synthetic turf athletic fields for baseball, softball, football and soccer with new baseball and softball backstops and ball control netting
  • New site lighting, team benches and spectator bleachers
  • Prefabricated storage building with electrical connection
  • Combination soccer/football goalposts
  • New chain link fencing
  • New concrete sidewalk in the interior of the site
  • Brand new outdoor basketball courts with new standards
  • Replacement of below grade areaway drains and associated piping
  • New exterior steps from the sidewalk
  • New louvered steel door and frame
  • Masonry repairs

These updates will also include sidewalk reconstruction in portions of the right-of-way of the perimeter of the site, including expanded tree pits and replacement of select trees. Murphy will also receive a maintenance vehicle for servicing and maintaining the synthetic turf field.

Through the combination of Rebuild funding and community partnerships like Live! Philadelphia, Rebuild is able to fully deliver on the Rebuild promise to work closely with the community, understand their vision, and invest intentionally to deliver a quality resource in their neighborhood.

“Philadelphia is in need of quality field space for our young people to come together to practice and compete with peers who become lifelong friends through sport,” said Orlando Rendon, Acting Commissioner of Parks and Recreation. “The addition of this high-quality field to our parks and rec inventory will provide the much-needed field time that our South Philly youth sports organizations so desperately need.”

After the groundbreaking ceremony, Welcome America hosted a block party celebration in honor of the community that will soon see the revitalization of their recreation center and playground.

Rebuild is a historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries across Philadelphia. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild’s promise to acknowledge history, engage the community and invest intentionally seeks to uplift pivotal community spaces, empower neighborhoods, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of its people through stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways, and management of 500 recreation buildings, 166 miles of trail, and 250 playgrounds. PPR offers safe, enjoyable recreation, environmental and cultural programs and events throughout Philadelphia’s parks and recreation system. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. In 2017, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, set about implementing the park system’s first strategic plan: Our Path to 2020 and Beyond. As a result, PPR is undertaking a period of historic change, setting the department on a course to become a modern, equitable and exceptional parks and recreation system. Visit us at, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia
Voted Best Casino and Best Overall Dining and Entertainment in Pennsylvania by Casino Player Magazine, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia has transformed the South Philadelphia Stadium District into a nationally unrivaled one-stop destination to enjoy the fast-paced action of four major professional sports teams, memorable entertainment, premier dining, well-appointed hotel accommodations and world-class gaming. Conveniently located off I-95 and I-76, the facility features more than 200 luxury hotel rooms that are Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED™ with Forbes Travel Guide, a FanDuel® Sportsbook and Lounge, over 2,000 slots and electronic table games, and 134 live action table games, including a dedicated poker room. Dining and entertainment options include the Zagat-rated #1 steakhouse The Prime Rib®; Luk Fu, serving authentic Asian cuisine; Sports & Social Philly, a one-of-a-kind sports restaurant, gaming venue and social lounge; the 10th Street Market, a unique food hall featuring Guy Fieri’s Taco Joint and Guy’s Burger Joint; Philadelphia-favorites Lorenzo and Sons Pizza, Termini Bros. Bakery and Sang Kee Noodle Bar & Kitchen; Morty’s Deli and Luckie’s Liquor. A spirited nightlife scene at Center Bar and R Bar rounds out the Live! experience. The property offers more than 15,500-square-feet of customizable meeting and event space, as well as ample, secure parking. Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia was developed and remains owned and managed by Stadium Casino RE, LLC, an affiliate of The Cordish Companies, the premier developer of Live! dining, entertainment, gaming, hotel and sports-anchored destinations in the country. For reservations, call 1-833-472-5483 or visit Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – @livecasinophl