Alabama State holds final meeting on new stadium

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Alabama State officials held their final community meeting for the new football stadium on Thursday night, just a week before its scheduled completion and 13 days before the annual Turkey Day Classic with Tuskegee on Thanksgiving.

“This is a great day in the life and time of Alabama State University,” said university president Dr. Joseph Silver. “Developing a facility such as this is an awesome task. This stadium is a ‘people’ stadium. Yes, it’s going on Alabama State University’s campus, but we couldn’t even begin to think about just holding Alabama State events in this facility. We’re looking forward to the community partnering with us to make sure we get the greatest good out of that facility.”

Approximately 200 people attended the meeting in the Ralph Abernathy Hall auditorium, roughly the same number that attended last month’s meeting at the Markham Football Complex. Thursday’s meeting was streamed live on the Internet, prompting several Hornet fans to send in questions.

A question and answer session followed, with many of the questions once again dealing with the parking issues associated with the $62 million, 26,500-seat stadium.

“This is no small undertaking,” said Danielle Kennedy, vice president for university relations. “There is a lot of work that goes into constructing a facility like this. But there is a lot of work that goes into the preparation of trying to make sure that when you enter the stadium, you have the best experience possible.”

Eric Thornton, vice president for buildings and grounds, said the stadium is on schedule for its Nov. 15 completion date, and university personnel are beginning to take steps to prepare the stadium for game day a week later.

“The only difference in the stadium that we have and any other stadium in the country are the amount of seats we have,” Thornton said. “As far as the technology is concerned, this stadium is second to none.”

The meeting presented parking and traffic plans as well as a ticket update. Jerry Bartley, director of auxiliary enterprises, said 5,662 tickets remain, with good seats available between the 30- and 40-yard line on the North sideline as well as the upper deck in the South (press box) stands. He said tickets sales are “averaging 300 tickets a day,” but expected that rate to increase as game day drew near.

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About tgayle

Tim Gayle is a sports reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper and
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