After soliciting feedback from fans and alums alike, I have put forward a list that would make our home field a truly great place to play, so here are the improvements.
- Bathrooms on the west side-To say the restrooms on the west side are a joke is being way too kind, they are not only incredibly small, but extremely inadequate for a stadium that is averaging over 7,000 fans on that side alone. I had one alum tell me that for the MILLIONS of dollars that have been spent on building up our entire campus for us not to be able to spruce up some decent restrooms in our FOOTBALL STADIUM is pathetic. If that is not bad enough, just look at how good the restrooms and concessions are on the east side, super modern and very nice with adequate space. So, I believe the best thing to do is to convert the restrooms into storage rooms and build a set of restrooms that are brand new and put them as an attachment to the south end of the west stands in an identical structure to what we have on the other side.
- Bleachers/Seats-Very simple, put back supporters on the general admission bleachers. This will greatly enhance the overall look of the stadium and make the seating just a whole lot more comfortable.
- Pressbox-Honestly, it is just time to knock the old thing town and replace it. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it will still be a pig. The time for a new press box is now. I would say a 3 tiered press box would be the best, the top level for coaches to see the field from the box, the second level for the radio boys (talking to you Brock Calloway and Charlie Chitwood) and all other media reporters, and the first level should be for the President, University officials and special guests, and maybe one or two corporate suites for our biggest boosters, which would serve as a nice incentive for the boosters. I would also say that there needs to be room enough on the outside of the press box to display our conference and bowl championships, similar to what they have at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium shown below.
4. Locker Rooms- For those who do not know there are two old sets of locker rooms that are under the west side bleachers. Both are awful looking and need to be replaced. One should be used for Commerce High School’s teams and the other for visiting teams to give them a good experience. If we are talking about long term investments in a facility this is a must. During home games, putting up barriers that keep the visiting players away from the fans and vice versa and keeping Commerce and/or University/Hunt County PD escorting the coaches. It keeps the look of a program run professionally. Oh, and in order to avoid any dustups like last year, the HOME TEAM heads into the locker room first before halftime and after pre-game warmups.
5. Keeping the Pride-The posters of players outside the stadium are a great idea, but in my opinion should be current guys, like big time returning starters and Coach Carthel. I believe we should make posters and murals of the Bounds, Comptons, Watkins, and Ernest Hawkins types inside and all over the stadium, letting visiting fans and first timers know who our legends are what they did in Commerce and beyond, and we have a lot more than 5 guys to show for. This is important for recruiting for both the school and the program. Just imagine in football crazy Texas showing potential students-not players, but students a tour of the campus and they see Harvey Martin, Clint Dolezel, Kevin Mathis, and the like and realize that if they came to Commerce in the fall, Football is a big deal and they will be coming to a school that is tradition rich in it.
6. A nip and tuck here and there-There are a lot of little things that would go a long way to really bring out the appeal of the stadium. I believe putting up nets behind the uprights would help with a corporate sponsor. Also, for the love of all that is good and holy, please destroy and weed whack those awful looking plants on the sides of the stadium. I know they were planted to help with the appeal, but the cure is worse than the disease in this case. Things like rails, tunneling, and the wall that separates the stands from the sidelines need to be badly repainted and smoothed out to not show the age of the place so badly. Also, the steps on the concrete could be repainted and renumbered. Again, little things, big difference.
Overtime: Cutting the Noise-Whoever does the music and sounds at the stadium during the games needs to be….well not fired….but there needs to be a totally different set of music. I understand the hip hop before the game pumps the players up and thats cool, but in-game music played during every down is just plain annoying. The band provides a great set of game time music that is more than adequate, and the goofy sounds just take away from the maturity of the game. Just my two cents.