A World War II-era football stadium built on the campus of Austin Peay State University is coming down to make way for a more attractive facility.
Long-time coach Richard Brown watched Wednesday as a backhoe tore down the concrete bleachers. He coached at the Clarksville school – off and on – since the 1960s. But he says the 2001 season played in the old Governors Field was the most memorable.
“When that bunch of non-scholarship kids had a winning season for the first time in 17 years. Little kids come here on their own.”
Austin Peay is hoping a new $19 million stadium with skyboxes and club-level seating will help recruit more talent to the team.
The facility may also attract more students to the university who are looking for the big-school football experience. And school officials see a correlation between extracurriculars and the classroom.
“Participation, be it as an student or student athlete, equates to better retention rates and has a significant impact on student success,” Austin Peay President Tim Hall said in a statement.
Construction of the 10,000-seat stadium will begin immediately with plans to be finished in time for the 2014 season.