Lubbers Stadium, student section undergo minor renovations

GVL Archive
Students cheer for the Lakers during a fall football game.

GVL Archive Students cheer for the Lakers during a fall football game.

Brady Fredericksen

With Thursday’s season-opening football game days away, Grand Valley State University students and fans alike should prepare for a new experience in the stands at Lubbers Stadium.

Specifically, the stands themselves.

New this year, the south end zone seats – more commonly known as the student section – have been completely renovated and expanded to better satisfy the student and fan experience at football games. The renovations will allow for 400 more students to sit in the south end zone.

“It’s huge for our fans, both our students and the fans that come here for every game,” said GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell. “The enhancements it will have on the stadium for this year and next year are big.”

Also new this season, the student bleachers are wrapped around the corners, and the seating is back further from the end zone than in past years. Those enhancements are a part of the plan for next year and beyond. Following this season, the school plans to remove the track and lower the field by seven feet while adding seating all the way around the horseshoe.

“We want to add four rows of seats going all the way around the edge, in front of the current student seating,” said GVSU Athletic Director Tim Selgo. “The goal for 2012 is to move the band down into the southeast corner of the student section while also sustaining that history and tradition of Lubbers Stadium with the grass seating.”

It is not just the administration that is excited about the renovations. Having a good home-field advantage is extremely important in sports, especially in college football, and players and coaches alike await the new renovations with open arms.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun because with the student section wrapping around, the stadium is going to be a lot louder,” said senior receiver Greg Gay. “As players, we like that crowd noise behind our backs – it kind of disrupts the other team.”

College football is driven by its players, and the new and improved Lubbers Stadium will benefit the current and future GVSU student athletes.

“It’s big for our current players because this atmosphere has been unique and I think it’s going to become more unique with the new surfaces were going to get,” Mitchell said. “Potential recruits are going to come in here and see that we don’t rest on what we’ve done, and see that we continue to move forward.”

While the final product is still more of a vision than a reality, the process of upgrading the stadium is taking shape with each project. Following the 2012 renovation, GVSU plans to better the luxury and press areas above the general admission seating, with the eventual finished product looking similar to the University of Toledo’s stadium, the Glass Bowl.

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