HURRICANE, WV (WOWK) – The ribbon is cut, and the Hurricane Youth Football League is underway. Hundreds of people packed the stands at Bridge Park Sunday afternoon, cheering for every touchdown and big play.
It’s a project that Mayor Scott Edwards says was more than two years in the making.
“This is great for community, getting people together,” he said. “Everyone’s talking, socializing. It’s a great thing. Plus the boys are out playing football, the girls are out cheering. It’s a wonderful thing.”
Parking lots were packed, and the concession stands were filled with customers. City Manager Andy Skidmore believes the new stadium will benefit businesses around town.
“The whole goal of what we’re doing with this park development is to bring people to the city where they end up coming and staying in our hotels, eating at our restaurants,” he said. “From an economic standpoint, we’re excited to see what this can do.”
The project is phase one of the park’s development plan. Other projects include new baseball fields and pickleball courts.
Edwards estimates the city has spent $600,000 to $700,000 on the stadium, installing new lights, a press box and a scoreboard. It’s an investment he says is worth every penny.
“If you do it right, it will always pay for itself,” he said. “Especially if it’s for children and that’s what this whole thing is about. It’s about those little boys and little girls that are playing football and cheering.”
It’s that investment into the kids, Edwards says will bring youth tournaments and new visitors into the city. He wants Bridge Park to be a place where kids of all ages can have fun.
“At the end of the day, we’re helping kids,” he said. “We’re helping our kids get out and get active and do something.”
Before the ceremony, the city honored first responders and those who lost their lives during the September 11th attacks.