This is the current concessions area at Eggerss Stadium. Plans are being formulated for noticeable improvements.
By John White
(Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles detailing the plans to renovate Eggerss Stadium.)
I’ve lived in Van Wert for more than 40 years and cannot imagine the city without Eggerss Stadium. Whether there is an event going on or not, Eggerss stands tall alongside many other downtown structures that deserve to be preserved. The Van Wert Forward project is seeing to that for many buildings in the Main Street district. For Eggerss Stadium, it’s time. Time to be part of the conversation. Time to take action. Time to preserve the past and imagine the future. It’s time to renovate Eggerss Stadium!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve discussed many facets of the proposed renovation. These include handicap accessibility, handrail safety, concrete restoration, a turf field, parking, and maintaining the stadium for years to come. Today I’d like to focus on band seating, concessions, restrooms, and the levy next May.
Let’s talk about the VWHS “Cougar Pride” Marching Band for a minute. Can you imagine not having our band at a football game? It would be like going to church and not having any music. It would be like what we experienced last year with few fans in the stands due to Covid. What we really are talking about is the “Cougar Pride” Marching Band experience. The band brings such an added dimension to any event in which it participates, particularly a home or away football game where it just feels good to see the thought, hard work, and dedication of the band members.
So, how can we make that experience even better? Today, we wait in anticipation of what Mr. Sloan and his staff have come up with for the next pregame and halftime shows. We love the band marching through the stadium and onto the field. In a word, it’s electric! We also enjoy how the band participates during the game, taking their cues from what is happening on the field and playing the fight song at just the right time. While the band does a great job, they are confined to sitting in the main stadium bleachers facing east. We appreciate their effort during the game, but the projection of their sound goes straight across the field.
But what if we created their own special seating just south of the end zone? Think about the projection of their sound from there! Everyone in the stadium would be able to fully appreciate it. Who can fire up the team and the fans better than the “Cougar Pride” Marching Band? So, let’s do it! Let’s give the band the perfect location to showcase their talent. The stadium renovation will accomplish just that.
Next, let’s face the truth. The stadium restrooms are dismal. The school staff does a great job of keeping things clean but they certainly don’t have a lot to work with. In touring the facility, the ladies fare a little better but the men’s is circa 1950s at best! What can we do to improve the restrooms? It comes down to modern fixtures that are well laid out with plenty of room for efficient use. Yes, restrooms are an important part of the renovation.
Time to up the ante a bit. A truly exciting part of this renovation is the addition of a new concessions building. The plan is to locate this at the south side just beyond the end zone. While the exact specifications are yet to be determined, the building will likely be rectangular in shape allowing for several service windows. How about a freshly grilled chicken sandwich or a juicy burger no matter the weather conditions? The food and beverage choices will be many. Suffice to say, food service for both home and away crowds will be top-notch. Does that mean we will not keep some concessions under the stadium? That is yet to be determined and still part of the conversation.
Maybe it’s better to call this an enhanced concession building. Why is that? The school administration is also considering including restrooms in that building as well as additional band storage for props, etc. Can we add in an officials’ changing room too? It’s up for discussion. No matter the outcome, it’s going to be fantastic!
Of course, there isn’t a magic bullet to pay for a stadium renovation that, without a doubt, becomes much more than just five home football games. I’ve talked in past articles about the way in which the stadium could possibly be used in the future. To make it all happen, a 20-year bond will be placed on the May 2022 ballot. In the scheme of things, it is a very small millage resulting in what amounts to approximately $35 per year for a home with a $100,000 taxable value. If we break that down a little further, that is about $3 a month or about a DIME A DAY!
As we wrap up this series of articles in a couple of weeks, we’ll focus on locker rooms and the press box, plus summarize the opportunities our community has to keep Eggerss Stadium a vibrant destination for generations to come.
Eggerss Stadium and Van Wert: Unique and United!
The men’s restroom at Eggerss Stadium dates back several decades and would be upgraded under stadium renovation plans.
To read the previous articles in this series, click the links:
Eggerss Stadium: A Van Wert Legacy published October 11, 2021
Friday Night Lights at Eggerss Stadium: Traditions Old and New published October 22, 2021
Eggerss Stadium: A Jewel From the Past, a Gem for the Future published November 3, 2021