New traditions: historic ribbon cutting for new ETSU football stadium

PHOTO: Timothy Davis

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - It's an exciting and historic time for ETSU football. This will be the first time in decades that the team will play a game outside, at home. A ribbon cutting ceremony officially kicked off the season.

"Today is the realization of a dream... a dream for a region, a dream for an institution, a dream for alumni," says ETSU president Brian Noland.

Members of the ETSU community are proud of the new stadium.

"To be able to open a brand new on campus stadium, to play a football game back on campus for the first time since the mid-seventies, it's exciting for our students, exciting for everyone that's involved with East Tennessee State, but also for the region," says associate director of athletics for communication Michael White.

White says a great fan experience is one of the stadium's main goals.

"We're doing our best to make this the premier college football experience for someone here in North East Tennessee, and I think it will be that," White says.

Students are looking forward to attending football games outside, at home.

"I'm really excited especially because it's a new field and they just opened it and I just really like football and all the excitement and all the school spirit of it all," says freshman Cameron Hammer.

President Noland says it's more than a football stadium, it's a piece of ETSU history.

"The opportunity for alum to connect with colleagues and friends, for students to come into the stadium for the first time, for the band to take the field for the first time, the team to take the field for the first time," Noland says.

The first game will be Saturday at 7:00 P.M. at the new stadium. Tailgating will begin at 8:00 A.M.