We’ve got seats…kind of.
The football stadium is on schedule, maybe even a little ahead thanks to the ideal weather, and has the outline of seating that can be seen if you drive by the construction site.
Construction for the stadium began in November 2015, right after the return of ETSU football.
Its timely build-up has so far resulted in the tower coming up, concession stands and restrooms underway as well as the main gateway arch on the east side for the entrance.
The arch, according to Senior Associate Athletic Director Scott Carter, while beautiful is not just for the look but really “a tip of the hat to the past.”
“The original football stadium on our campus, which was in the site of the Dome now, had many brick arches at its entry points,” Carter said. “Which is why we wanted to have a nice, pronounced arch at the front of our stadium.”
While there is not a noticeable change at the moment, light poles will be installed in mid-April, adding the new noticeable change to the field. The majority of the major components of the stadium will not be completed until the latter part of July.
Some major installations coming in those summer months are the fixed stadium seats, a fully functioning video-board at the south end of the field — which ETSU has never had before in its football stadium — and the turf field, which will take around 60 days to be fully completed.
August will be the month for fine-tuning any mistakes that could come up during the summer.
The Bucs will be away the first game of the 2017 season at James Madison University, but when they come back, the home opener against Limestone College will double as opening day for the stadium on Sept. 2.
Sentimentality has been an underlying emotion for the staff in charge of designing and building the football stadium, including Carter.
“As a former football player and alumnus I think it’s going to be pretty cool to see our logo…,” Carter said. “Our ‘E’ has only been on a football field one time and that was when we were up at Bristol Motor Speedway last fall.”
Carter expects the overall atmosphere of the stadium to be something that fans and the team alike will be able to rally behind.
“To see that field installed fully with that ‘E’ in the middle of it is going to be pretty special I think for a lot of people,” Carter said.