Buffs set to start season in new stadium

Alyssa Gonzales, Sports Editor

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The buffs are back in town and ready to start another action-packed season. However this year, the football team will be stepping onto new turf. The new Buffalo Stadium at JFerg Field has been a work in progress and students will finally be able to see the buffs kick, pass, and run on a new on-campus stadium.

Photo By Emilio Sanchez 

“This process started almost four and a half years ago when [former University President] Dr. O’Brian was here. He brought it up and we got some program of requirements from an architect firm, and we started the process, what we wanted in the stadium and started to build up from there,” said Randy Rikel, Vice President of Business and Finance. 

Tradition has always been a key component within the campus culture. Kimbrough Memorial Stadium was a historical part of the university. Even though the buffs will be playing in a different place, WTAMU’s past will still be acknowledged. 

“Underneath the scoreboard will be the Rogers Walk of Champions. It’s those kind of things that identify our past. All Americans,championship teams, and those types of things. So that’s been very good,” said Rikel. 

With the stadium now being on WTAMU’s campus, Rikel hopes it will increase game attendance and allow more people to explore campus. Rikel also hopes there will more more excitement and a new energy that draws fans from surrounding areas. A new stadium brings many different changes as well. 

“We don’t have the big hills but we do have the stadium in a bowl. There is 8500 seats in the stadium. Some of them reserved in chair backs the rest of the bleachers types. So really the whole stadium is invited to be a WT ruckus, just loud place…there’s not a bad seat in the house,” said Rikel. 

Along with the changing in seating, there is also a new scoreboard and written boards along the outside of the two top decks. There will be four concession stands and four sets of bathrooms. In the past, students would be able to enter football games by showing their Buff Gold Card. However, the process of students getting in will also be different. 

“With our new ticketing system, we’re really wanting to try and be able to target attendance and see how many donors are coming, how many fans are coming and how many students are coming,” said Brittany Hansen, Ticketing Coordinator for WTAMU Athletics. 

Students must now claim their tickets through Buff Portal by following the instructions and setting up an account. Students can get their tickets before every single game, Monday through Wednesday of game week and then  show up with the ticket on their email. There has been much anticipation around campus about the new stadium and some students are eager to attend games this season. 

“It’ll be really great to have a stadium on campus. I am looking forward to the inaugural season in the new Buffalo stadium,” said Penny Welter, junior, agricultural business and economics major. 

There will also be a significant change in parking for students on game days this year. 

“We’re asking residents to move at a Jerrett parking parking lot. That will be for the luxury box owners. Buff Hall, Connor and Gunther will be moved out and that will be called the Thunder Island Party Pad. The lot that is west of that Activity Center, zone 13, we will ask students to move out by that morning of the game,” said Rikel. 

Other than those three lots, the rest of the campus parking lots are open for students to park. There will be a shuttle service provided for the sport complex lot, north of the baseball field. There is also a walkway that has been completed that goes from the First United Bank Center to the stadium.

“We’re just working fast and furious and doing all that we can. We’re really excited about the first game day,” said Rikel. 

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