The Daily DOB — Sept. 18

September 18, 2015 0 Comments
Here's a look at the refurbished football side of QU Stadium (Photo by QU Sports Information)

Here’s a look at the refurbished football side of QU Stadium (Photo by QU Sports Information)

Quincy University on Saturday will unveil a new-look football side to QU Stadium. Over the past year, the school has done $4 million in renovations to the east side of the complex near 20th and Sycamore on the city’s north side.

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to step inside the walls and see the final product yet, it certainly looks impressive. Just take a look at the photo to the right.

Saturday’s game will be the program’s first there since 2010. When the school announced back then that it was going to start playing games at Flinn Stadium, it made sense. QU Stadium had to be close to being condemned.

When the program started putting together winnings seasons in the mid 2000s when it was in the NAIA, I feared that if the team ever hosted a playoff game that I’d also have to cover a tragedy where fans fell into the stadium.

This photo was taken in the fall of 2005.                        Those interested in taking in a football game at Quincy University Stadium must seat themselves around an obstacle course of caution tape where the stadium's concrete steps are deteriorating. (H-W File Photo)

This photo was taken in the fall of 2005. Those interested in taking in a football game at Quincy University Stadium must seat themselves around an obstacle course of caution tape where the stadium’s concrete steps are deteriorating. (H-W File Photo)

The place was a dump.

The stands were falling apart. Name me a place anywhere that hosts events where patrons have to dodge caution tape in order to watch. But that was the old QU Stadium. Don’t believe me. Take a look at the photo to the right from the 2005 season.

Once the Hawks left for Flinn, I didn’t think there was any way that place would be used again. But the school did the only thing it could do to get the team back “on campus.” It basically nuked the place, keeping everything but the walls up. The result is a gorgeous new facility that the school and city can be proud of.

That’s a far cry from 10 years ago when QU coaches wouldn’t even take recruits by the place where they would play.

“We don’t take recruits into the stadium when they visit,” said then QU-coach Bill Terlisner. “You just drive them by, but you don’t walk them in.”

Terlisner’s players understood the need to avoid the stadium.

“The first time I was in (the stadium), I realized why they didn’t take me in there on my recruiting trip,” then-senior wide receiver J.P. Limbaugh said for a 2005 article on the stadium. “It was something that shocked me a little bit.”

There was talk at the time about possibly converting North Campus into a football-soccer facility and putting FieldTurf there. Of course, North Campus Field, now known as Legends Stadium, was the first QU facility to get field turf. Football was not included in that plan.

But the school made a big commitment to bring the football team back to campus.

“You couldn’t recruit to this facility,” QU Athletic Director Marty Bell told WGEM this week.

That’s exactly what Terlisner told the school a decade ago and every year after that until the alum of the school was fired after the 2011 season, the program’s first playing games at Flinn Stadium. Years later, the school finally took what he had to say to heart.

When fans show up on Saturday, there will be a different look and feel to game day. Those folks should bring their wallets, too, as prices are nothing like they were when the team last hosted games.

According to the school, people will have to pay to park at many places near the stadium. If you want to park in your favorite spot in the lot north of the stadium — where people park for Quincy Gems games — it will cost you $20. And you’ll be ushered out 15 minutes before the game. If you want to park at the nearby Casino Lanes parking lot, that will cost you $10. Fans won’t be able to bring anything into the stadium, including water bottles.

Bell told WGEM that the school has raised $1.5 million for the project, leaving about $2.5 million left to pay.

Back in 2005, this is what fans had to sit on when watching Quincy University football games. (H-W File Photo)

Back in 2005, this is what fans had to sit on when watching Quincy University football games. (H-W File Photo)

At least fans won’t have to put up with this any more:

 

 

 

 

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