PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Last year, thousands of people came to Fairmount Park to watch world-famous polo champions play in our city for the very first time.
In September, they will do it again.
Tickets just went on sale Monday for the 2nd Annual Philadelphia Polo Classic.
Our Alicia Vitarelli had a chance to chat with the visionary behind this event, which is all about inclusion and access: access to the sport for young athletes, and access to spectators too.
Kareem Rosser is a national polo champion who found his calling at a local nonprofit called Work to Ride.
This event raises money for the nonprofit as it expands, and it also raises Philadelphia's status as a polo town.
"We had polo being played for the first time in the city," says Rosser, reminiscing about last year's inaugural event. "And we had African Americans, kids playing polo, kids of color playing. It was just an amazing day. We're excited to bring this back to Philly."
Rosser took Vitarelli for a ride in the exact spot where his passion for polo started at the age of eight.
"When I showed up as a little boy, I found the place where I felt safe," he says.
At the Work to Ride program in West Fairmount Park, kids like Kareem can work to learn to ride.
"It feels good," says Lezlie Hiner, the founder and executive director of Work to Ride. "And the kids feel that too. They know we're not going to have any drive-bys happening over here."
"She kept my children off the streets," says Kareem's mother, Lazette Rosser.
Kareem has traveled the world playing polo and even appeared in Polo Ralph Lauren ads.
Last fall, he officially made Philly a polo city.
"I actually cried a couple of days before the event," he says. "I didn't tell anyone that, but it felt good. I was just excited to be able to bring the sport to Philly. You had never seen this many people of color playing polo anywhere in the U.S. That was another proud moment for me, personally."
Last year, 3,000 spectators descended on Fairmount Park for the inaugural event. This year, they're expecting 5,000.
"I'm hoping this event is going to be around for the next 50 years, if not longer," Rosser says.
The 2nd annual Philadelphia Polo Classic is September 23.
Tickets start at $35 and they are on sale now.