new home for football team
Birmingham-Southern’s resurrected football team moved into the college’s newest athletics venue over the weekend.
The college, which last year brought back a football program that had been dormant for nearly 70 years as it began its current reclassification from Division I to Division III, opened its 1,600-seat Panther Stadium on Saturday for a homecoming contest against Sewanee (University of the South).
The campus had not hosted a football game since 1939, and the Munger Bowl, the stadium used then by the Panthers, was torn down in the 1960s to make room for campus growth.
Panther Stadium, which also will be home to Birmingham-Southern’s lacrosse and track and field teams, features a synthetic-turf field and eight-lane track and is part of a complex that includes a weight room and locker rooms.
The school’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams will play their inaugural varsity seasons in the facility next spring.
To mark the stadium’s opening and begin a new tradition, the football team walked before the game down a hill outside the nearby Striplin Baseball Complex to the stadium. Fans were encouraged to like up along the walkway in support of the team.
“We’re excited this weekend, being able to actually have a home game instead of getting in a bus and driving 30 minutes to Hoover or Vestavia or wherever we’d play,” Joe Thigpen, a team member, told The Birmingham News. “It’s why we all came to Birmingham-Southern, to start something like this.”
The team celebrated in style, defeating Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Sewanee, 49-0.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association