MU
Oak Leaves

October 18, 2019

Stadium Plan
Pictured here is an architectural rendering of the stadium scheduled to open in spring 2020. 


Photo provided by Manchester Marketing

New Stadium Construction Creates Uncertainty for Fall Sports, Athletes


Carlos Argueta

 

During Homecoming Manchester broke ground for the new athletics stadium. The official ceremony has left Manchester students and faculty elated and ready for the opening in the spring of 2020. This construction project will be a great new venue for various sports. The current construction may present an inconvenience for the sports that are in season or preseason; however, many athletes believe that the adjusted practice locations will be worth the wait once the stadium is completed.

Cross country and track and field have had to strategize to move their practices. Olivia Bangert, a cross country runner and a track sprinter, has been heavily impacted by the construction but this hasn’t stopped her from training hard and getting better each and every day. “We can’t do our full loop for cross country and track because the impact of the construction has torn up the ground as well as not being able to host any track meets this year,” Bangert said. She continued by noting that they still practice on campus, but they have to “accommodate’’ the changes and differences that the construction has brought upon them.   
 
This fall, track and field has been conditioning for their winter season. “I’m affected because we have to go to the high school and train as well as sharing the field with cross country,” said Kaylene Cox, runner. “It has been a burden on me and our team as a whole but I have to be honest: I am very excited for the future of Manchester and the North Manchester community. “The field isn’t just for us to compete,” Cox continued. “It’s to bring out the community and connect us with more resources and I believe it will help with our recruiting as well.”

The construction has not just affected the long distance sports but it has affected the football team as well. “I love the construction because we are finally getting a new field,” said Jabari Webb, football player. “But we have to walk farther to practice and walk-throughs. We also have to get all of our equipment out of the PDC room now by the soccer field."

Cody Mason echoes the opinion that the current inconvenience will be worth it when the new field is available for practice. “We will be able to better compete because we can prepare better for the game with a turf field,” Mason said. “We can’t practice the main things we need to practice like kick returns and punts, which I believe is a negative at the moment. However, as the years go on, this field will help the community and better our sports program as a whole.”

The construction has brought our athletes together because of their shared burdens of scheduling and planning around the construction. But athletes are excited to have a new stadium. “This new stadium is a change that Manchester and North Manchester as a whole have needed for the last few years,” Cox said. “We should’ve done this sooner.”