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New bleachers for Olvey, but still short
bleachers 2
The new bleachers at Olvey Field are ready for graduation and the upcoming football season. - photo by Photo by Jimmy Courier
When visitors to Olvey Field fill the stands for graduation later this month and for football games in the fall, they will notice the new bleachers.
On the north side of the field, the visitors’ side has new bleachers and there are plans to install new bleachers on the home side and build a new fieldhouse in the future.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, Olvey Field still does not meet qualifications to host a state playoff game.
The Georgia High School Association mandates that teams playing in Class AAAAA must play playoff games in a stadium that seats at least 6,000 and has a press box with 50 linear feet of working space.
With the renovations, the stadium falls short by several hundred seats.
“I can’t host a playoff game,” Bradwell athletic director and football coach Jim Walsh said. “The plan was to renovate this (visitors) side and put another one on this (home) side to meet standards. I don’t know if it’s going to be ready for the season. I’m asking the questions but am not getting any answers, so I don’t know.”
The bleachers feature a new press box that is an improvement over the former press box, but still does not meet GHSA standards to host a playoff game. However, once an additional box is placed on the home side, there should be adequate space.
Walsh and the Tiger coaching staff had no input on the press box or bleachers.
Walsh said it will be a logistical nightmare, if the other box is not complete by Bradwell’s first home game Sept. 7.
Crammed into the press box will be an electric clock operator, public address announcer, visiting team coaches, Bradwell coaches, print media and a radio crew to broadcast the game. If that wasn’t enough, Walsh said he has already had two requests from teams to bring their radio broadcasting crew to the stadium.
“I have a lot of great concerns about our facility going into the season,” he said.”
Sturdisteel, the same company installing the bleachers at Liberty County High School’s new football stadium, did the work for approximately $550,000
The bleachers are raised higher than the old bleachers and allow for a better vision of the game.
Fans cannot congregate in front of the fence on the field, thus making it easier to control the crowd and for people to see the game.
Access to the restrooms and the concession stands is easier because there are access stairs at every walkway.
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