Greenwich to clear fans at Cardinal Stadium for first home football game of the year


GREENWICH – When the Cardinals kick off Saturday afternoon’s football game against Fairfield Prep, it will be a real home game at Greenwich High School in front of a real home crowd.

The City of Greenwich Building Department on Friday gave the green light to a temporary one-day occupancy certificate for Cardinal Stadium. This allows Greenwich to play their first home game of the fall football season and allows fans to sit in the new bleachers on the home side of the stadium and cheer on the Cardinals.

“Our city needs this,” Education board member Joe Kelly said Friday after the city’s announcement. “You cannot measure how excited I am after all the effort that has gone into this project. “

Greenwich played their first ‘home game’ at Stamford High School’s Boyle Stadium last month against Ridgefield, and that site had been the back-up plan for Saturday’s game.

“It’s something we really need. I’m over the moon about it, ”Kelly said. “The children were buzzing and wanted to know if there had been a word. People called me. And you can’t measure the enthusiasm there is for it, it’s amazing. And I hope the community will enjoy this preview of everything that is going to be finished. “

Although the first phases of the stadium project are not yet complete, the TCO allows the game to be played and allows supporters to use the new bleachers.

Work will then resume at Cardinal Stadium on Monday, and officials hope the work will be fully completed in time for the next home game.

“We’re targeting October 30 for our big opening event,” said Kelly, who oversaw the project for the school board. “This will be the biggest opening the city has ever seen for our Cardinal stadium.”

Phases 1a and 1b of the project include the new bleachers on the house side as well as a new press box and elevator, a club room, bathrooms, a concession stand, a ticket kiosk as well as new lighting on the existing poles and additional accessible parking spaces.

Although the bleachers are 100% complete, according to Kelly, the new bathrooms, concession stand, club room and ticket booth are still under construction. Those features, he said, will be ready by October 30 with the new ADA-compliant parking lot.

“All of these features will be on full display in our next home game,” said Kelly. “We’re going to have all these bells and whistles in place then. But for now, we have opened the stands and we want our fans to build up there, cheer on the team and help them win the game.

Other items are on the to-do list, including the inspection of the new elevator and the paving around the stadium. Temporary paving has been put in place for Saturday’s game, but more work needs to be done before the construction department grants the full certificate of occupancy.

Kelly also apologized for our unfinished appearance at the stadium, but said the school district wanted to move forward with a real home game. The plan had been under discussion for several weeks within the district board and administration, he said.

“We thought it would be better to have a home game in an unfinished stadium than to do it again at Boyle Stadium,” said Kelly. “I’m sorry people still see some imperfections because it’s still a construction site.

“But this will all be closed, and we just can’t wait to bring the fans to the brand new stands and give the team the superpowers they deserve that can only come from the crowd howling for them.” , did he declare. “We wanted to make sure we had a home game. The kids really needed it with everything they went through.

It will be the Cardinals’ first home game since the 2019 season. The project was budgeted at $ 3.6 million for Phases 1a and 1b. The cost of Phase 2, which will include a new stadium access road to East Putnam Avenue, has not yet been determined.

The bleachers were deemed unsafe and were due to be replaced in the spring of 2019. They were temporarily reinforced for the 2019 season. The project entered the construction phase at the end of last year, when the old bleachers were demolished. The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction project took place in March.

Education Council chairman Peter Bernstein said he was “grateful” to everyone who had worked on the project.

Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones said, “I want to especially thank everyone who has worked tirelessly on this project to ensure our students have a special school year.”

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