Work on the new field surface for Eagle Stadium began last week and Booster President Dan Hodges couldn’t be happier, yet, at the same time, somewhat apprehensive. The complete project will cost approximately $1.1 million, of which $120,000 needs to be raised from the community. To date, Hodges says they still need to raise some $75-80,000.
To recap the project, $400,000 was the community share of the project. With grants from local businesses, that number was reduced to the $120,000 and ticket sales and donations have brought that number down to the amount still needed.
It is important to remember that not a single dollar of taxpayer money has gone into the project, nor will there be any by the time it is done. The Booster Club had a successful run at the Jackson County Fair, selling tickets through their booth near the livestock auctions. Tickets are also available from Booster Club members and at the office of the Independent. Tickets are $10 and your entry gives you a chance to win one of two fabulous prizes, either a fishing boat or a four-wheel ATV.
Hodges wants the community to know some important things about the field: it will be available for a number of activities, not just football and it will enable the Boosters to generate income that will benefit several other activities, such as band and soccer. The Boosters also hope to be able to offer scholarships to non-athletes for other activities and the use of the field will allow them to do that.
For now, it is rip and tear. Following sod removal, rock will be brought in, heavily compacted and a two-inch carpet will be spread over the entire surface. According to Hodges, this new surface will be softer than the compacted dirt layer under the present field because a rubber mat is part of the new turf.
Hodges said that some have questioned why the Boosters began the project before they had raised the entire amount. The reason is that the original grant amount and the local grants were for a period of one year, to have waited would have cause the Boosters to lose those funds and the chance of getting them in the future seemed slim at best.
The finished field will be the finest in southern Oregon.