Before Monticello Memorial Stadium officially opens its doors for soccer and football games this upcoming fall, the Monticello community was welcomed in with open arms on Thursday evening for a sneak peek at what to expect for the 2017-18 school year and beyond.
Dozens stood outside the stadium as Monticello Activities Director Gary Revenig addressed the crowd, thanking them for all of the support over the course of time it took to complete this enormous project.
Next up was recently retired Superintendent Dr. Jim Johnson. Johnson—whose last day in District 882 was August 14th ___talked about how this was the start of something new and how proud he was of the local community for coming together to get this project done.
Monticello High School educator and head football coach Jason Telecky took the stage next, along with former football players who started a vision of getting a “Prisoners of War” flag to go up at football games next to the U.S. and Minnesota flag. That vision grew legs, and it wasn’t long before the plan became a whole memorial, instead of just a single flag. Many students were responsible for the creation, organization, and creativity of the Veteran’s Memorial which stands beautifully outside the new Monticello Memorial Stadium.
As the flags went up for the first time, incoming Monticello senior Rhonda Card sang the National Anthem. The color guard saluted as some fans wiped away tears at the sentimental value of the events that were unfolding. For many, coming to the stadium will include a stop outside the three flags, where blocks on the surrounding ground honor loved ones as well as those who have served. Blocks are still available for purchase and any purchased before December 31st of each year will go up the following summer.
As the ribbon was cut by the Commander of the American Legion, the community applauded and the doors were open for the first time for the public. The fans took a seat on the home side of the bleachers for turning their attention to the left where one of Minnesota’s biggest scoreboards now sits. The seating capacity for the new stadium is approximately 3,000, with 2,000 seats available in the Magic bleachers and another 1,000 on the visitor’s side.
The scoreboard(s) came together with the help of a lot of people and companies including the 13 major sponsors who have signed on with the school for years to come. Their sponsorship includes recognition at sporting events at the stadium and track, as well as permanent signage around the massive video board in the west end zone. Sponsors can be found here!
The Monticello Media Production team– headed by high school teacher Luke Feierabend—took charge of the scoreboard in the final part of the opening ceremony, playing commercials from each of the sponsors to conclude the grand opening. Families gathered on the turf after the ceremony, some playing catch while others just looked around in awe of the complex where the high school teams will be playing for years to come.
The first regular season event on the field will take place on Aug. 25 when the Monticello boys soccer team will play in a miniature invitational. Other teams in the invite include Delano, Southwest Christian, and Willmar. The matches begin at 5 p.m.