THE BLADE/LORI KING Enlarge | Buy This Photo
Get ready for the “Baum-fire.” Southview High School is fired up for its first ever home football game at the new Mel Nusbaum Stadium on Friday night.
Students have already nicknamed the new stadium “The Baum,” Athletic Director Susie Felver said. The stadium is named after prominent Toledo lawyer and avid sports fan Mel Nusbaum, a Sylvania Township resident who died in May. Mr. Nusbaum‘s children played sports for and graduated from Southview and one, Jim, is a school board member.
Students choose a theme each game week, and this week it is fittingly Baum-fire, where students sitting in the new home stands will douse themselves in red, orange, and yellow colors to show off their team pride.
At 7 p.m. Southview Cougars take on St. Francis de Sales. The event is preceded by a opening ceremony at 6:15 p.m. Prior to this year, Southview played its home games at cross-town rival Northview‘s stadium.
The Southview student pride will match the orange and brown clad stadium and risers. The new home stands seat at least 2,800 spectators. The stands have a special section for 276 reserved seats, complete with cup holders. Seats are sold at $250 for two seasons and those who reserve one will have a nameplate placed on it bearing their name. The stands also feature a section for the band. Reserved seat sales go to the Athletic Department, and this year paid for some signs near the entrance of the stadium.
The home stands also houses a 500-square-foot press box, with state of the art sound system and wireless microphones for the referees. Two separate rooms are carved out for each team’s coaches, where they can call out plays.
The visitor stands were extended to fit 1,200 spectators and re-striped with the team’s color of orange. Both stands are handicap accessible. A small ticket booth was built for the visiting team. Home fans enter at the main gate entrance.
A new digital scoreboard has four slots for advertisements, and are rented at $5,000 annually for five years. So far, Lourdes University, Yark Automotive, and Brookview Dental have rented spaces. The proceeds go back to the Athletic Foundation, a private parent group that raises funds for the school‘s sports projects.
There is a banner sign on top of the billboard which now advertises ProMedica Hospitals. Mrs. Felver said the banner spot was given to ProMedica because it generously donated $100,000 to the project years ago. New fencing wraps around the stadium area which also includes a track. The area will be used for lacrosse and track.
Inside the locker rooms, which were re-painted to match the stadium‘s bright orange and brown theme, the Cougars this week were preparing for practice before the big game.
“There is a lot of excitement in the locker room. We watched the stands be built up. We are gonna be ready no matter who we play,” said team captain Leon Eggleston, 17.
Team captain Sterling Tyler, 17, said, “I’m especially excited for the tailgate event before the game. To actually see our cars out there filling up the lot, instead of Northview’s.”
Head Coach Jim Mayzes has been with the team for more than 25 years. He recounted times that the team was promised its own stadium, going back as far 1992 when it won the league championships.
“This completes a sense of ‘finally,’ ” he said. “And there is an appreciation for people that wanted this. So many people pushed and pushed for years -- the Nusbaum family and so many more.”
The stadium is part of a long-term $11 million athletic field upgrade plan for Northview and Southview.
The parent-run Athletic Foundation is raising funds to cover the costs.
The stadium project is estimated to cost $1.3 million, of which about $600,000 was from the school district’s sale of surplus land at Timberstone Junior High School, said Barry Shaner, the athletic foundation’s president. The Nusbaum family, in honor of Mr. Nusbaum, raised $500,000 for the project. About $100,000 was raised through scoreboard advertisements, and about $100,000 in-kind donations for construction material.
To commemorate the stadium opening, Sylvania Schools will also host a family day from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Assorted food trucks will be on hand, as well as activities for children, a cornhole tournament, and alumni flag football games, where graduates from even years take on those form odd years.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.