Archive for Thursday, September 14, 2006

New rules in effect for Liston Stadium after agreement

September 14, 2006

Baldwin High School home football games will have new rules, beginning Friday night.

The Baldwin Board of Education approved the facility agreement with Baker University on Monday night. The vote was 5-0, with Board Members Scott Lauridsen and Lonnie Broers not present.

The district will be able to use several Baker facilities. One of those is Liston Stadium, which now has an artificial turf surface and new eight-lane track.

"We are excited to be over there," said Shaun Moseman, Baldwin High School principal. "It's a really nice facility. The turf is perfect and will be really nice for the kids to play on."

Although the district will still be playing games at Liston, there will be many rule changes.

Moseman and Baker University Athletic Director Dan Harris toured the facility Tuesday and went over the rules.

"We did a walk around the track and stadium," Harris said. "We talked to him about our concerns with the protection of the facility. I think that was a good productive session."

The new rules include no gum, tobacco, sunflower seeds or chairs on the track. Lawn chairs will only be allowed on the asphalt around the track.

People walking around the east side of the stadium should only walk in lanes seven or eight on the track, while people walking on the west side should stay on the asphalt.

"They are going to set up barriers on the home and visitor sides," Moseman said. "You are not to go across the yellow tape."

Another major change is everyone must enter the stadium in either the northwest or southwest corner. Only emergency vehicles and handicapped accessible persons will be able to enter near the concession stand on the north side.

"They don't want any lawn chairs or chairs on the track, because it will poke a hole in the track," Moseman said. "They want people to enter at those two gates on the west side."

Harris said he wants to keep people off the track surface as much as possible.

"What we are trying to do is minimize traffic on the track," Harris said. "Largely because the track is new. The weight of a lot of stuff will push the track surface down and compact it. We need to be sensitive of that for the whole season. It is a challenge to change tradition and habits of everybody, but we need to do it."

District Activities Director Gary Stevanus said the district is trying to use the same policy that Baker uses at its home games.

"We are trying to do the same thing that Baker does," Stevanus said. "Once everybody follows the same rules, the Baldwin community will know what to expect when they go to a game at Liston Stadium."

Harris also said there is some construction work still being done to the track, which is another reason to keep people off of it.

"In the end zone areas, we still have some unfinished construction," Harris said. "We are doing some repair work to the take off boards for the long jump and the box for the pole vault pit. We have to keep people away from there.

"Once we complete all of that work and we get covers for the sand pit, we anticipate allowing seating of some capacity in the end zones," Harris said. "I would rather have traffic on the end zones than on the track itself."

The district has agreed to pay Baker a one-time fee of $21,000 this year. Baker will also receive any additional profits from the concession stands. The district is guaranteed the same profit it made last year with concessions.

"We are guaranteed to make no less than we did last year for our student groups," Stevanus said.

Stevanus also thought the price went up $3,000 from last year's agreement.

Despite the many changes, Harris said he wants to see many events at the stadium.

"This is what the turf is for," Harris said. "You can't tear it up and wear it out with practices. So the more activity we have on that thing, the better. We are excited about the high school coming over and using it as much as they need to for their home games."

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