Cowell Stadium to get lights
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 01:09
The University of New Hampshire’s Cowell Stadium is set to undergo major upgrades that will include adding lights as well as replacing general-admission seats and remodeling concrete stadium seating and aisles. These changes will take place for six to eight months starting in February of 2014 and will be finished in time for the start of the 2014 season.
Senator and former UNH football player Lou D’Allesandro was instrumental in getting $1.5 million of funds to be used for the renovation.
“It’s a first-class university and it deserves first-class facilities,” D’Allesandro said. “Those Cowell Stadium facilities aren’t any better than when I played over 50 years ago. This is a step in the right direction. We’ve got to do more for that university.”
Cowell Stadium was built in 1936 and has never hosted to a night game in its 77 years of existence.
“We’re awful excited about getting lights and getting all those kind of things, but I’m just more excited about playing in Durham and The Dungeon,” football head coach Sean McDonnell said. “It’s a pretty good place.”
The stadium lights will also provide a better chance to host NCAA playoff football games. UNH football has made the FCS postseason nine consecutive years but has hosted just two playoff games that were back in 2005 as the No. 1 seed in the country.
“I think it’s going to give us a heck of chance of getting the playoffs here,” UNH Athletic Director Marty Scarano said. “Sean and those guys deserve that.”
There are also plans to expand upon the usage of the stadium by hosting NHIAA state championships as well as other events. It already hosts the Special Olympics and the CHAD All-Star High School Football Game.
“It isn’t just a football facility, it’s a multipurpose facility,” Scarano said. “We want people to think about the outdoor venue in Durham as the go-to, flagship outdoor venue in the state. That was never going to happen without lights.”