PHILIPPI - The college football buzz is already stirring in Philippi as Alderson Broaddus University is preparing for its clash with Pace University on Sept. 7. It will mark the return of regular-season football at the school for the first time in 84 years.
Last season, the school played a club schedule and dominated opponents with a 9-2 record. It was the first gridiron action the university has seen since 1929.
Andrew Goetz, ABU sports information director, said the newly-constructed stadium will be ready in time for the home opener. The school broke ground for the new $7 million complex in April 2012. High Point Construction is handling the work.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Ben Simmons
Alderson Broaddus University will kick off a full slate of NCAA Division II games on Sept. 7 at the newly-constructed Multi-Sport Performance Stadium with a tilt against Pace University. A pre-game dedication ceremony is planned prior to the noon kickoff.
High Point Construction worker Kenny Phillips puts the finishing touches on the stone work outside the stadium’s concession stand on Friday. Groundbreaking for the $7 million facility began in April 2012.
"The field is a great asset to the campus and athletic programs," Goetz said. "It houses locker rooms for men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, as well as football. The new facility also has its own athletic training room with whirlpool facilities, a visitors locker room and laundry facilities. The stadium has suites for rent during football games and a new parking lot was just finished Saturday, providing easy access to the field."
The stadium will not only house football games but soccer games and other athletic events, along with student recreational sports. The stadium is still unnamed and will remain known as the Multi-Sport Performance Stadium or Alderson Broaddus Stadium for the time being, Goetz said. It seats about 2,000 spectators.
"Student moral is high," Goetz said. "It is amazing to see the number of people that stop by and park along the road to just look at the field - whether the football team is practicing or not. It is definitely a point of pride for students, faculty and staff to have a state-of-the-art performance stadium and a top facility in NCAA Division II. Student athletes use the field, obviously, but student recreational sports also have the opportunity to use the field and many took advantage beginning last year."
Tickets are still left for general admission seating for the opening contest. The game will be broadcast regionally on WDTV Channel 5 and available for streaming on their webpage.
Goetz said a dedication ceremony is planned prior to kickoff, and the ABU Marching Band will have its first performance at halftime. Several local dignitaries will also be on hand for the celebration.
"If fans are planning to come to the home opener and field dedication, they should buy tickets soon and arrive to the game early, not only to ensure parking but to engage in pregame festivities and see our special guests," Goetz said.
The stadium's recently paved parking lot can hold about 70 cars, however all the parking passes have already been sold, Goetz said. Additional parking will be available throughout campus and shuttle busses will provide access to the field. The tailgating area will be at Jack Funk Field for larger campers and cars and concessions will be available on the home side of the stadium.