Starting the season in style: Inside Tigers new stadium

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio-- There is something new and exciting at the corner of Cedar and Lee in Cleveland Heights. The Tigers stadium underwent a major renovation during the summer. Now the football team is just weeks away from the debut of their new facility.

Thanks to a bond passed by residents living in the city, the stadium is now state of the art.

“Our last field it seemed like in the middle of the field here it had like this hill. It was terrible when it rained or snowed. The whole field was terrible and now that we have this turf, we will no longer have these problems,” said Anthony Johnson, a wide receiver and defensive back for the Cleveland Heights football team.

Crews were busy putting the finishing touches on the new track. The whole project was being planned for the last four years. There are new stands, a new press box, a brand new track, new goal posts and a new playing surface.

“This is more than just a Friday night football game. This is about the people that want to walk on this track on a Wednesday morning. This is about our physical education classes. This is about our soccer and lacrosse program. It’s really a facility for everybody,” said Athletic Director Kristin Hughes.

Anybody who has traveled to Cleveland Heights for a football game in late October knows the field was never in good enough shape for a regular season game, let alone a playoff game; well with the new turf that won’t be an issue moving forward.

“I would never tell you that our track or our field is why we win or lose but certainly it’s a factor,” Hughes said. “It’s just nice to kind of go into a season and you’re putting your kids in as much as you control in the best possible situation for them to showcase their talents and then they just take over.”

The $2 million project is about to be unveiled to the football team who has yet to step foot on the field.

“The field is great. It’s the first time I’ve actually been on it. It feels great,” Johnson said.

“It’s exponential. I’m throwing away my mud boots. We’ve thrown away all of our mats in our locker room and for those reasons it’s great,” Hughes said.

The Tigers will play on the new turf for the first time in week 3 of the season when the Glenville Tarblooders roll into town.