TREYNOR, Iowa — Treynor is ready for some football.
After 10 months of construction and more than two years of planning, the Cardinal Athletic Complex held the first varsity game Friday night on its new artificial turf. The contest capped a festive evening at the new site that included a ribbon cutting and presentation of the flag and game ball by a local skydiving unit.
“They love how it’s set up; they love the seating capacity,” Treynor Athletic Director Tim Navara said. “Finding all the little amenities that we built into it, the community’s very excited and proud of what happened.”
The new $4.2 million facility — funded entirely by a local option sales tax — sits on an 18-acre space just west of the previous football field and track, which is more than 40 years old.
Among the highlights of Treynor’s new home:
» A grandstand with a home seating capacity of 900-plus and visitor grandstand that accommodates about 200.
» A new building adjacent to the field with concessions, restrooms and a storage area.
» A red scoreboard with video graphics capabilities.
» A press box roughly double the size of the previous one.
» An eight-lane, all-synthetic track (Treynor used to have six lanes).
» A natural-grass practice field to the south that includes multiple pads for discus and shot put.
Navara said his favorite feature might be that the stadium is “top load,” meaning fans enter from the top of the stands and walk down. Elderly and handicapped spectators now get a different view from higher up.
“This whole stadium really doesn’t have a bad seat,” Navara said. “That’s what we think is kind of a neat thing: Wherever you go, you have a good view of the field.”
Truman and Mavis Hill have to agree. Sitting in lawn chairs on the top row Friday evening with an umbrella and cooler, the couple has been coming to athletic events for more than 35 years. They’ve had children graduate from Treynor and their grandson, Nate Hill, is a sophomore on the football team.
“This will be so much nicer than we’ve had,” Truman Hill said. “The boys are really loving it even though it’s been hotter than all get out.”
Visiting fans were equally impressed. Bud Korver, perched on the 50-yard line, has been to his share of games after teaching at Underwood for 10 years. He continues to substitute teach at Treynor and Underwood — though he was rooting for the Eagles on Friday.
“This is so much better than anywhere we’ve played,” Korver said. Kover compared the field quality to Lewis Central’s artificial surface. The difference, he said, is one team will be driving into a setting sun on Treynor’s turf because of how the field is situated.
Navara said the target completion date all along was Treynor’s football opener. The engineering firm Lamp, Rynearson & Associates finished the project at the estimated budget and deadline despite less-than-ideal spring weather. The school introduced the new digs to the community during last week’s annual football scrimmage.