Campbell Trustees announce plans for new football stadium

When the bustling activity of the school week comes to an end, life in Buies Creek tends to slow down each Saturday morning. Students often sleep in and take in a movie or an afternoon basketball game, before catching up on their studies.But soon, those sleepy Saturdays may be pushed aside for a new collegiate experience — tailgating. On Feb. 28, 2007, the Executive Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees approved plans for the construction of a football stadium complex. The new campus addition will be located along Highway 421.In making the announcement, Harold B. Wells, chairman, Campbell University Board of Trustees, said, “In over 20 years of service as a Trustee, I do not recall seeing the Board more excited about a non-academic project. I am very pleased we are moving boldly ahead with football. The football stadium complex is a vitally important component in positioning our new team for success. Furthermore, the stadium’s prominent location on Highway 421 will bring high visibility to the football program.”Campbell University will host a Groundbreaking Explosion for its new football stadium on Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. at the future stadium site on Highway 421. The free event is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public.Last April, President Jerry Wallace announced to an enthusiastic student body that football would be returning to the Campbell University campus after a 50 year absence. Campbell will compete on the NCAA Division I-AA (non-scholarship) level and will compete against other similar non-scholarship programs on the Division I and non-I levels.Construction on the new field and stadium will begin shortly to prepare for the first home game set for Aug. 30, 2008 against Birmingham Southern University.Head Coach Dale Steele will make sure his team is ready to take on any opponents. Steele, a veteran of more than 25 years of collegiate coaching experience, was hired to build the Fighting Camels football program in June 2006.”I think the new football program and stadium will be tremendously energizing for the university and entire community,” said Steele. “It will be a facility that everyone can be proud of and come to enjoy Campbell University football for years to come.”Initial plans call for a practice field to be constructed by the fall of 2007, as the team begins formal practice. By the date of the first home game in 2008, stadium seating will be built for an estimated 1,200 students and visitors. In addition, a field house, rest rooms and concession stand facilities, ticket booth, and parking areas will also be constructed. Plans also call for additional stadium seating and a facility that would house the President’s box and press box.Dr. Dennis Bazemore, Vice President for Student Life, says the new football facility will be a great asset to campus life on the Campbell University campus.”Football Saturdays will be big days in Buies Creek,” said Bazemore. “I think of the Saturday home games and all the things that can be planned around those games with our students and guests. We can build special events on Friday evening and tailgating on Saturday mornings, and other events later on Saturday afternoons.”Bazemore also hopes the new stadium will have a positive impact on other programs across campus, such as the cheerleading and music programs.Come out and take part in this historic event in the life of Campbell University and Harnett County.

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