New, improved Alamo Stadium unveiled
91-year-old WWII veteran recalls first games at stadium
SAN ANTONIO – More than 2,000 student athletes were in attendance Saturday for the re-dedication ceremony of San Antonio Independent School District's Alamo Stadium.
Upgrades worth more than $35 million were made to the stadium, but its historical charm was kept.
Fans sporting their school colors filled the seats while one man stole the show.
"On the first day they had a double-header. Jefferson played in the first game and they played Corpus, and we played the second game, Brackenridge High School, and we played Regan of Houston," said 91-year-old James Gaffney.
Seventy-four years have passed since those first two games and Gaffeny still remembers them like they were yesterday.
"I'm thrilled about it. I mean, probably more so than I was the first game because I didn't figure I was going to get to play much football," said Gaffney.
Gaffney can still recall scoring the first few points in Alamo Stadium.
"I made the first two points for the other team," Gaffney said.
The Brackenridge alumni and World War II veteran is still in awe of the renovations and changes made.
The renovations include:
- Turf – For the first time, the turf has been striped to accommodate soccer, in addition to football. The turf will provide a real-grass experience, with standing grass-like fiber blades and a padded softness created by the rubber pellets that weigh it down.
- Digital scoreboard – This new approximately 44-feet wide by 24-feet tall Daktronics digital scoreboard with video display will provide a more personal experience for game-goers and will bring Alamo Stadium into the 21st century. Comparable to that found at many Division I universities, this scoreboard will offer video replays and close-up images of fans in the stands, as well as student athletes and performers.
- All-weather track – Track athletes will have a brand-new surface on which to compete.
- Press box – This part of the stadium still is in progress but will be larger and will feature two new outer stair towers, giving presence to the stadium entrance.
- Seating – The stadium's old seating has been removed and replaced by new, colorful aluminum benches.
- Locker rooms – New locker rooms that feature brand-new showers with privacy stalls and restrooms are nearly completed.
- Americans with Disabilities Act – The number of seats dedicated to persons with disabilities has increased under the renovations, and an elevator that will provide easier access to persons in wheelchairs will be installed.
- Concessions – The concession stands have been completely refurbished and outfitted with new stainless steel equipment and will provide greater service capacity.
The first game will kickoff on Aug. 28 featuring Lanier vs Central Catholic.
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