Sponsors could show off cars at stadium

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Pictured above is a rendering of the new designs for the proposed Marysville High School football stadium renovation, which will include a turf playing surface. Among the plans are designs to allow vehicles to be placed on towers in a section behind the south endzone. The feature, pictured below, would allow for product placement in the stadium for potential sponsors.
Marysville plans show towers where vehicles could be placed
As a major stadium renovation project for Marysville schools enters the fundraising phase, it appears district officials will be targeting the automotive industry for some funding.
Final designs for a new Marysville High School football and track facility, as well as a Bunsold Middle School football field, were discussed at Thursday night’s Marysville School Board meeting. Initial plans were tweaked by a technical committee, which included coaches, band directors and school officials, but the final price tag has not increased from the initial $8.9 million estimate.
Of that cost, the district has pledged to cover $4.5 million with permanent improvement money. The remaining money will come from a fundraising campaign targeting corporate sponsors, small businesses, alumni, employees and citizens.
One feature built into the plans, however, seems to make it clear that officials will look to car companies for money.
An oval shaped section between the locker room and field will contain such items as the flagpole, victory bell and memorials to past athletes. But also built into that area are two platforms wide enough to hold cars.
Superintendent Diane Mankins specifically addressed the feature, noting that the area would have removable ramps to allow the cars to be driven onto the platforms. Mankins also noted later in the presentation that one of the largest portions of the fundraising project could come from corporate sponsors and involve naming rights and product placement in the stadium. She said such an agreement would likely involve a financial commitment spread out over a number of years.
While the Honda of America automobile plant is located within the school district, the company was not specifically mentioned during the meeting.
The fundraising campaign for the project was also cited as a reason to push back the opening season from 2018 to 2019. Mankins said members of the steering committee for the project were “loud and clear” in their opinion that the district should not rush the funding campaign and a 2019 target for opening is appropriate.
The project, which includes artificial turf fields at the high school stadium and new Bunsold field, has seen only minor changes from the original architectural drawings released months ago. The high school field will be able to handle football, soccer and lacrosse contests as well as band competitions.
In general, the entire footprint for the facility will move slightly southwest from its current location to accommodate the adjoining track facility.
The stadium will use the existing locker rooms and entrance on the south, but a second entrance will be developed behind the home bleachers. That area will also feature concessions and storage facilities.
The home concession stand, which was originally designed to face west, will now face in toward the bleachers and create a “breezeway” under the home stands. Mankins explained that committee members expressed concern that the concession workers would be forced to work with customers while looking into the setting sun.
There will no longer be a walking lane in front of the home bleachers and a new scoreboard is also planned. A new visitors concession stand will also include restrooms and that facility be accessible during track events.
Mankins said the Marysville band will be seated in designated bleachers behind the north endzone, at the recommendation of band representatives on the technical committee. The opponent’s band will be seated in visitor’s bleachers.
The light poles on the visitor’s side will have lights facing both directions in order to provide lighting for both the football and track facility. Field events can be held in the center of the track facility, which will be grass rather than turf, as well as in a designated area north of the football field.
The Bunsold facility, which will be east of the school building, has remained mostly unchanged from previous plans.
Mankins said the district intends to close the football fields when not in use, but the district will leave the track facility accessible to the public during daylight hours so the public may use it for recreation.
It was also noted during the meeting that the large mounds of dirt created by the construction of the stadium parking lot will be used in the construction of the new facilities.
Mankins said the idea behind the renovation is to provide more opportunities for the district’s students in terms of hosting events.
Board member Dick Smith specifically noted the “world of opportunity” the project creates for Bunsold Middle School, which currently does not have a football or soccer facility at the school.



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