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Ground to be broken for new Boardman stadium

Published: Thu, May 8, 2014 @ 12:07 a.m.

Field of Dreams

By Kalea Hall



A groundbreaking for a new, estimated $700,000 turf at the future Boardman Spartan Stadium off Nisonger Road will take place some time this month.

The contract for the turf has yet to be awarded by the committee for the stadium, just part of a $3.7 million, privately funded plan for a new stadium to replace the 1930s-built facility off Market Street.

“To get it where it needs to be, the whole facility would have to be replaced completely,” said Tim Saxton, director of operations for Boardman schools.

The plan for a new stadium began in 2007 when the district realized some of the facilities, including the stadium and Boardman Center Middle School, needed to be updated.

Twice, bond issues failed to help raise funds for updates. It was then decided to make the stadium fundraising a separate endeavor and get the boosters involved.

For the past three years, enough money was collected to start on the turf. Next will be the stands, scoreboard, press box and a new facility for the visiting team.

About 25 percent of the funds for the project have been raised so far, and Saxton is hoping to have every element of the new stadium complete by fall 2015 for the first season in the All-American Conference. He said that schedule sounds “aggressive” but is necessary.

The grass field at the current stadium and the wooden bleachers are costly to maintain for the district. Anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 annually can be spent on the upkeep of the field, while the life expectancy of turf is 10 years. The new aluminum bleachers will provide accessibility for those with disabilities and will seat 7,500. A new video scoreboard will be capable of showing instant replays and commercials for businesses.

“We could make a great campus here,” Saxton said.

In addition to football, soccer also will be played on the field, and the track meets also will remain at the new stadium.

“I don’t believe we are building a new stadium. I believe we are building Boardman,” Saxton said.

Saxton played at the old stadium in the 1980s and knows the connection the community has to it, but he said the students are excited to add something new to Boardman’s campus.

“Tradition isn’t in bricks or mortar,” Saxton said. “Tradition is in the programs.”

For information on how to sponsor the new Spartan Stadium, go to boardmanstadium.org.


1snworb56(53 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I just need to understand the math... the turf will last 10 years for $700,000. The upkeep on the grass is $40,000 per year. That totals $400,000 for 10 years. I do not see the benefit financially. Not saying Boardman should not have a new field with new turf etc. but the numbers don't add up.

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2youngspartanrepublican(92 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

There's upkeep on grass, but also the facilities. Those wooden bleachers are going to collapse at some point and the maintenance costs will only rise on the actual facility itself. Plus you're looking at over $10,000 per game to transfer people to and from the high school for players and band members. Furthermore, the new stadium will have more potential for revenue generation through playoff games and tournaments. A 7,500 seat stadium will be perfect for most of the D3-5 playoff games around here and the region. And besides, if the project is privately funded, then nobody should be complaining because tax dollars aren't being used, which is commendable.

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3snworb56(53 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

youngspartanrepublican...I agree totally with what you are saying. The potential for additional revenue from the playoffs is quite real and would be very beneficial. I would think that we would want to be even more diligent on how the money is spent given they are private funds. The numbers in the article did not seem to ad up that's all. Go Spartans!

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4republicanRick(1734 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Fools gold is when you chase playoff money. It simply is not there. OHSAA puts the games out for bid and the least expensive gets the games. By the time you bid down low enough, it barely covers the wear and tear on the facilities.

Artificial turf cannot be justified on a cost basis, it must be justified on a "use" basis and quality of playing field for the students.

That said, this is bad location for, it looks like, a woefully underfunded project. To shoe horn this into the back of Glenwood's property is a bad idea. Parking will be a nightmare and very cramped.

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