Parkway Football Stadium to get artificial turf; BPSB also approves new video scoreboard and press box for Tiger Stadium

Two football stadiums at Bossier Parish High School are being renovated.

The grass pitch at Parkway’s Bobby Marlow pitch at Preston Crownover Stadium will be replaced with artificial grass and the scoreboard will either be repaired or replaced.

Benton’s Newman-Mason Field at Tiger Stadium will get a new video scoreboard and press room. Additionally, game clocks will be replaced.

In addition, a field for women’s athletics will be constructed on the South Bossier campus at Parkway.

All of the improvements were approved by the Bossier Parish School Board at its meeting on Thursday evening.

Money for the projects will come from the 2012 build bond issue, which is nearing its expiry date.

The Tiger Stadium press box will be a cooperation between Bossier Parish Schools and the Benton High School Booster Club.

At a previous meeting of the Building and Grounds/Scenic and Development Committee meeting, two board members expressed their long-standing reservations about artificial turf pitches. But all the articles received unanimous approval from both the committee and the regular meetings.

The addition of artificial turf to Preston Crownover means that three of the six parish stadiums will have artificial surfaces. Bossier’s Memorial Stadium was the first to have one in 2018. Last year, one was installed at Airline Stadium’s MD Ray Field.

As District 1 Representative Billie Jo Brotherton pointed out at the Buildings and Grounds Committee/Council Planning and Development meeting, the grounds are used for sports other than football.

Football has benefited from the addition of artificial surfaces, particularly in terms of reducing match postponements and cancellations due to poor pitch conditions caused by bad weather.

Brotherton said “the parish should really be looking to get the grass pitches from our other three high schools” because those schools with grass pitches may have an advantage over those without in attracting families moving in from outside the parish.

“We are falling behind in Bossier,” she said. “When people move in here, they’re going to look around at our schools and say, ‘Hmm, I want my kid to play on this grass field at this school. “The rest of us don’t have that.”

There were also discussions about the cost of maintaining the fields and setting aside money for their future replacement.

According to fieldturf.com, the industry standard is to provide an eight-year warranty on all synthetic turf materials. But with proper care and maintenance, they can last 15-20 years. another website, turffactorydirect.comestimates eight to 15 years.

No deadline was given for the completion of the projects. The Airline Stadium pitch was installed in around two and a half months last summer and was ready for the 2021 soccer and football seasons.

The cost of the parkway projects will be approximately $2.85 million.

The cost of the new scoreboard and press box at Tiger Stadium was estimated at $300,000 each.

Benton manager Teri Howe spoke about the issues with the stadium’s public address system at the Buildings and Grounds/Planning and Development Committee meeting.

“You can’t hear when you’re on the pitch,” she said. “When you’re on the other side of the pitch, visitors can’t hear what’s going on from the press box.”

Benton head coach Reynolds Moore said the new scoreboard combined with a state-of-the-art sound system could double the amount of advertising revenue from the stadium. He said the revenue generated by current ad programs is around $12,000 a year.

Since many of Benton’s football games are against local schools, Moore said companies might be more inclined to buy ad spots knowing the ads would be heard clearly from the visiting team’s side of the stadium.

Permanent ad spots can also be sold on the dashboard with video ads. Moore also pointed out that the new scoreboard will improve the atmosphere of the game.

The scoreboard would also be available for use during college games.

Malfunctions with the game clocks caused disruptions during games. Moore pointed out that the clocks went off in the Tigers’ first-round playoff game last season.

He said that even when the scoreboard and game clocks were tested to ensure they were working properly the day before and early on game day, they still sometimes malfunctioned during games.

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