St. Aug hosting 2nd on-campus homecoming but where are the bleachers?
Oct 18, 2012
Saturday marks the 2012 homecoming game for the St. Augustine’s football team and will be just the second time the Falcons ever play on campus.
After 144 years of asking the question, ‘where are the bleachers,’ and seven active years of fighting for a stadium, St, Aug got it. But things still aren’t that simple.
The first on-campus game at the new George Williams Athletic Complex, played one year ago this weekend, treated students, fans and alumni to a 34-15 win in the Falcons’ 2011 homecoming game. Making history in their debut, over 5,100 people gathered at the stadium to cheer on the Falcons, finding standing room only space around the track and gridiron.
But despite the artificial turf football field with a world class track around it, the seats are not yet permanent.
The university had long asked for a 5,000-seat facility before settling on 2,500 after neighbors of the university voiced concerns over noise and traffic. They also had to make a concession, limiting the number of events held at the stadium per year to 15 or less.
By making these sacrifices, the vision that was supported by former mayor Charles Meeker came to life after being approved by the city in Sept. 2011.
However, the 2012 football schedule that penciled all Falcons home games at the stadium was forced to audible after it was realized the 2,500 permanent seats would not be ready in time. So St. Aug continued to play their home games at Durham County Stadium.
On Saturday, the Falcons will once again put up temporary bleachers for homecoming when they take on Fayetteville State for a 2 p.m. kickoff.
It begs yet another question, how much more money could the school have made with true home games at the stadium this year?
Schools make money off their athletic programs. When people buy tickets and attend basketball and football games, that generates money. Not just for the athletic program but the school.
If nothing else, St. Aug lost out on a lot of money this year by taking their time to get the stadium together. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
So the next question sounds a lot like the first, ‘where are the bleachers?’