Fall 2017 will not only bring the much anticipated year of eligibility for postseason competition at the Div. 1 level, but the department of athletics has confirmed the Wildcat stadium is on pace to open on time.
The new and improved Wildcat Stadium is being constructed by HKS architecture firm, the same distinguished firm based out of Dallas, Texas that built the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium, the Indianapolis Colts’ stadium, and the new Minnesota Vikings’ stadium that celebrated its grand opening this July.
With beams already visible and standing three stories high, which is just half of its expected height, the upcoming campus landmark is scheduled for completion by the first home game of the 2017 season against Houston Baptist University.
“I feel really good about where we stand right now,” said director of athletics Lee De Leon.
With a 12-month construction timeline, Wildcat fans and students can begin to get excited as we move closer to the days of a field that is on campus and as the days of making a trip off campus to Shotwell come to a close.
“It is 100% fact that it has an impact on literally everything that we do,” head football coach Ken Collums said, “Everybody’s fired up about it.”
Collums expects the new stadium to change the face of ACU from the outside looking in and have a significant impact on recruiting new Wildcats both athletically and academically.
De Leon said he knows the stadium will offer a luxury most Southland Conference members might not have.
“I don’t think our stadium will be the biggest in the conference, but it will be the nicest in the conference by far, and I think people want to be around nice things, and be able to play and participate in nice things” said De Leon
Students can expect their own designated side of the stadium and tailgating events that will contribute to the exciting and uniting environment of college football on our own campus. De Leon and Collums each expressed visions to change the way people think about athletics and how they view football games as a key part of the ACU experience. The grand opening of the new field next fall is sure to help bring those visions to reality.
Now, the Wildcats are preparing for the upcoming season opener in Colorado against the Air Force Academy Sept. 3. The players and coaches intend to focus on each game at a time while also anticipating the new venue and era of ACU football that will come this next fall.
“When it counts in 2017, when we’re able to fill that stadium every home game and the atmosphere just be electric, it’s gonna be awesome,” said Collums.
But don’t be surprised, if when the concrete slabs and pillars are getting hauled from their offsite home the stadium buzz picks up.