PARKERSBURG - Area residents said Friday night they were happy with the Parkersburg High School Stadium Field renovations for the home football game.
The stadium got the go-ahead from a state fire marshal after a walkthrough Thursday and final inspection before occupancy.
PHS Athletic Director Lori Lowers said Wednesday everything was on track to open Friday.
The west side stands of Stadium Field start to fill around 30 minutes before the start of the Capital-Parkersburg football game Friday. The contest marked the first varsity football game played on the field since the bleachers were condemned and the first time fans had been allowed in the rebuilt section. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
Members of the Parkersburg High School student body greet the team as the Big Reds enter Stadium Field. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
Anyone wanting to sit in the east side stands of Stadium Field Friday were met with plywood barriers at the steps. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
Lowers said fans, students and football players were excited the community worked together to replace the home side stadium bleachers.
The student section at the end of the stadium filled with cheers as the PHS football team took the field Friday night.
Tierney Aldridge, a senior at PHS, said she was excited about the stadium being open for Friday's game.
"We had to play our first home game at Marietta and it's really nice actually having a stadium," Aldridge said. "It looks really good."
The student section was gearing up for cheers and laughter as pictures were being taken, seniors and other students were holding signs and shouting for their favorite players.
Ashton Childress, a senior at PHS, said she thought the stadium was essential for her senior year.
"We had a pep rally at school to get everyone pumped to play at the stadium," Childress said. "We needed a stadium really bad."
Julie Barnett, parent of a PHS football player, said she was excited her son, J.D. Barnett, would be able to play his senior football season at Stadium Field.
"It was a real concern," Barnett said of her son playing at the stadium. "I'm really excited and it will be nice to have the other half (visitors side bleachers finished)."
The Parkersburg Stadium Committee sold commemorative coins at the game on Friday.
The coins were sold for $20 next to the red tent and football boosters at the stadium.
Organizers and committee members said if there were extra coins they would continue to be available for purchase.
The coins were a way for the committee to raise more money to get the visitors bleachers of the stadium completed.