Gridlock on the gridiron
New GCCC stadium delayed; Buffalo Stadium to host GCCC's home
Gridlock on the gridiron
By J. LEVI BURNFIN and
After months of worry over whether the new Garden City Community College athletics stadium will be ready for the first home football game of the year on August 24, the GCCC administration got their answer — it won't be.
Garden City Community College Athletic Director Ryan Ruda learned late last week that the specialized bleachers for the stadium would not be ready to be installed until mid-October, instead of the originally planned early August. Hella's Construction, who was contracted to build the stadium, sub-contracted the bleachers out to specifically meet the college's design needs.
"We were trying to give the spectators the best, most comfortable environment possible," said Ruda.
The bleachers would include increased depth between rows of bleachers and a wider seating area for fans.
While the bleachers will not be ready as scheduled, the field, track and surrounding area will still be built on time, according to Ruda, allowing the college to continue with their plans to host the women's soccer team's home games and serve as a practice field for the football team.
As a result, the Broncbusters' home football games will be played at Garden City High School's Buffalo Stadium, according to Ruda, who said GCHS Athletic Director Martin Segovia agreed to share their home field for one season.
"Ryan called me late last week and we talked about the bleacher issues, which I certainly understand," Segovia said in a Tuesday telephone interview. "We had some issues when ours were delivered a year ago, so we understand those things can come up."
The college and high school had shared Memorial Stadium for nearly 50 years before the high school built their new stadium prior to last season.
Segovia said GCCC had the option of returning to Memorial Stadium or using the newer Buffalo Stadium, with its newer turf.
"We had both fields refurbished this summer and Memorial Stadium is safe to play on," Segovia said. "We're now hopeful that we can get another two years on that turf (at Horace G. Good Middle School)."
Segovia said that GCCC will not pay any fee to USD 457 for the use of the stadium, but the college would provide shared custodial staff for games. He said that both GCCC and visiting teams would use the two locker rooms at GCHS to dress out for the games. Segovia also said he expected USD 457 staff that runs the scoreboard, clock and video board would be asked to assist GCCC and then be paid for their time by the college.
GCCC may not have to wait another year to debut the stadium for a football game, though. If the Busters able to host a playoff game, Ruda said the bleachers should be installed and the new stadium would be able to host that game, which would be the first week of November.
But for the Aug. 24 opener with Independence, the Busters are going back to high school.