Referees, commentators and former cricket captains were among the signatories of a letter sent to The Times announcing the launch of the National Playing Fields Legacy Fund.
The fund, to be administered by Fields in Trust (FIT), will provide grants to local organisations for playing field improvements.
In 2010, the Inverdale Facilities Inquiry revealed more than 6,000 playing fields were lost in the UK between 1992 and 2009.
Former football referee David Elleray warned budget cuts meant the situation was unlikely to improve in the near future. "Depriving young people of access to these spaces has a detrimental impact not just on our future sporting stars but also on the health and well-being of communities," he said.