NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – With a brand new scoreboard, video monitors, refurbished seating and additional room for 4,000 more spectators, Hale Stadium is preparing to light it up when Tiger fans return to “The Hole” on September 15 for the first college football game in 14 years.
A $1 million facelift of the 81-year-old facility, which began about a year ago, is on budget and on target for completion by game day, according to Project Manager George Herring, adding that fans will not be disappointed “when they see what we have done.”
“The old field (ROTC) house is gone; the old scoreboard is gone,” he said. “When they (fans) come they will see new ticket booths and additional bleachers on each end of the field, a refurbished press box with TV monitors and up-to-date electronics for the media, and improved access for the handicapped.”
Referred to as ”The Hole” by diehard fans, Hale Stadium, which opened in 1931, served as the home of the TSU Tiger football team until 1998 when LP Field opened. It had since been used as a practice field for the Tigers and area high schools.
Following appeals by alumni and students, the administration obtained Tennessee Board of Regents approval and the upgrades got underway in December 2011 with the demolition of the 60-year-old ROTC building at the south end of the stadium. Work has since kept pace with completion deadline.
The first game on September 15 will be against Ohio Valley Conference rival Austin Peay. The other games will be against Eastern Kentucky State University on October 6, and Tennessee Tech. on October 27.
The readiness and enthusiasm to welcome back Tiger football fans to “The Hole” is infectious.
“We can’t wait for our fans, alumni, students and visitors to come back and see the improvement we have made not only to this stadium but to our entire campus,” said Ron Brooks, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management. “It is heart warming to see how different things are. We want to showcase TSU.”
In a meeting with key project participants Friday, July 27, Athletics Director Teresa Lawrence Phillips could not keep her cool either.
“Playing in Hale Stadium is just different; it’s home,” she said. “Playing in LP Field is like playing away. Here (Hale Stadium), our players get the feel of a real home crowd. It is just different to see all those people, our students, alumni and fans in blue and while cheering on our players. This is visual and it is real.”
Among other changes and improvements fans will see in “The Hole” are renovated restrooms, concessions stands and 4,000 grandstand seats. With the addition of temporary bleachers, the current capacity is 16,000.
For more information on TSU Athletics, visit www.tsutigers.com
Department of Media Relations
Rick DelaHaya: 615.963.5312
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as the Number One University in the state by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.
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Motto: Think, Work, Serve Established: June 19, 1912 Type: Public, HBCU Endowment: $41.7 million Chancellor: John Morgan President: Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Faculty: 431 Enrollment: 8775 Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States Campus: Urban, 500 acres (2 km²) Former names: Tennessee A&I State Normal School for Negroes (1912); Tennessee A&I State Normal College (1925); Tennessee A&I State University (1951); Tennessee State University (1968) Colors: Reflex Blue and White Nickname: Tigers Athletics: National Collegiate Athletic Association Affiliations: Ohio Valley Conference Web site: www.tnstate.edu Phone: 615-963-5000
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