Saturday, September 1, 2012
Football fans in El Dorado had plenty to be excited about Saturday night.
Not only was it the home opener for the Butler Community College Grizzlies, it was also the dedication of the new BG Products Veteran's Sports Complex.
The match-up between Butler and Blinn College is among the most-anticipated games in junior college football, so it served as a perfect backdrop for dedicating a new stadium.
El Dorado Mayor Tom McKibban said the stadium has generated a lot of excitement in the community.
"This stadium has been put together by the community," he said. "It's not just the school district or the college or the city; it's the people you see here today."
Butler is already a destination form many junior college football players. The new $12 million state-of-the-art facility will likely only help Butler's recruiting.
"I'm scared for the rest of the Jayhawk conference when Troy Morrell gets to recruit with this facility now," said David Stewart, the stadium's architect.
Of course, the stadium is more than just a football or recruiting asset. It is also a community asset.
"We hope to have concerts out here and other events," McKibban said.
"I think it's going to attract a lot of less-traditional events," Stewart said. "I know the faith and family night is coming up in September; the first big event that is less than sport-related."
However, it was a sport-related use that had fans fired up Saturday.
The new stadium replaces an 80-year-old facility that has been used by Butler Community College and El Dorado High School.
"We're thrilled for the community; thrilled for these three entities that are involved," Stewart said. "And we couldn't be happier that this community gets to celebrate like this today and we're thrilled for football, of course."