ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) – Friday, the Ashland Blazer Tomcats celebrate the start of another year on the gridiron, facing off against the Raceland-Worthington High School Rams.
In addition to the excitement for the game, improvements are in the works for the stadium.
Chairman of the Putnam Stadium Restoration Foundation Greg Jackson says they will be starting “Phase 2” of their long-awaited renovation project.
“Phase 1” included a complete rebuild of the stadium over 10 years ago, which has already been completed. The second phase has been in the works since then and now they’re able to move forward with some needed changes.
Jackson says they were able to reach an agreement with a corporate sponsor and locally well-known business, Clark’s Pump-N-Shop.
“Rick and Brent Clark got with us and they said ‘Yeah, we’ll jump into this community effort to make this an all-purpose field by getting the turf put on.’ So, they made their commitment financially and part of that package was naming rights to the stadium,” Jackson says, explaining the money from the sponsorship will completely fund adding new turf to the field.
Jackson says there have been some concerns from the public on the name change, but he says funding has been their main obstacle in getting this project done and this change is the best solution.
The new name of the stadium, which could be read on temporary signs around the property at the game on Friday, is “Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Putnam Stadium.”
Other improvements that could be on the way shortly include a new scoreboard, a canopy for the band, new lighting, a new sound system, and other items estimated to cost around $1.8 million.
The new turf is expected to be completed before the start of the next football season.
Right now, the Tomcats will be playing on the same grass field but Jackson says they have workers who are working hard to maintain the area three times a week before each home game.