Stadium wasn’t suddenly old
Oh, gee, is the public supposed to feel sorry for the Big Reds, who might, with luck, get to play their final two home games at Stadium Field? Was there a sudden disaster which befell their home turf and the community at large? If that were the case, I feel sure the entire area would be gathering around to provide money and muscle to help all entities in need of assistance.
Nope, no disaster. Stadium Field is an old structure and it didn’t just become unsafe suddenly. The rusting bleacher materials and decaying concrete took their toll over many years, during which it seems that nobody noticed the slow demise. Not the school board and its various sports personnel, the fans, the players, the media, any inspectors. Nobody. Or so it seems.
Now, the Big Reds are faced with a “disaster,” that of not being able to play its football team’s scheduled home games at Stadium Field this season. The public has been aware, through the various media, of the condition of the field since at least early spring. But now, the panic is on. Football season is upon us and “Where will they play?” is an immediate question. My position is why wasn’t that question addressed when the bleacher seats were first condemned, when demolition began, when the need for timely repairs and finding the funds for renovation first became issues. Of course, and I realize the redundancy in this statement, behind this immediacy is again the issue of why such a major need seems to have gone totally unnoticed until a relatively short time ago.
As for the venue of PHS home games this season, let us hark back to pre-Erickson Field days. Parkersburg South played their “home” games at Stadium Field for many years. My suggestion is that PHS play their home games there as well, for the time needed. The play dates are already scheduled with other schools for the weekend, so any adjustments to accommodate the South schedule should, I repeat, should, only involve a move of only one calendar day for PHS and their opponents to meet.
I should think that PSHS supporters would be appreciative of an opportunity to return the gracious sharing of Stadium Field by PHS supporters for so many years.