MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - South High School has been around for more than 100 years, but until this season they never hosted a evening home football game because their field didn’t have lights.
For years, the South High School Tigers were forced to either play home games at 3:30 in the afternoon or find other fields to play on because the facility could not accommodate for evening games.
In 2018, the Minneapolis School District moved forward with a plan to renovate the field at South High School. Administrators had been fighting for these changes for more than 20 years.
“I started coaching here in 1995 as the girls soccer coach when the field had nothing but a port-a-potty and a card table as our ticket stand,” South High School Athletic Director Amy Cardarelle said.
Cardarelle said the field was mostly dirt, there were water drainage grates near the edges and that it wasn’t regulation size for soccer.
“It took a long time and it took a lot of fighting to get them to understand the needs that we had,” Cardarelle said.
South High School’s football coach Rodney Lossow is an alumn. His son is now a sophomore on the football team. He says he thinks the new facility shows his players that they’re worthy of a home field.
“I think they're just feeling value. I think that’s one thing they’re going to feel tonight. They’re going to feel valued as players, that someone cares about them enough to do something like this,” Lassow said.
For many at the first game of the season on Thursday night, it was exciting to experience the tradition of high school football under the stadium lights.
“They don’t call it Friday Night Lights for nothing. There’s that piece that goes with it that prestige, and we want to be part of that,” Cardarelle said.
The remodel includes a turf field, lights for the stadium and bleachers for the fans. The press box and sound system were donated by a 1961 graduate of Southwest High School, Harvey Feldman. The renovation was also completed thanks to some donations from alumni. According to MPS Chief Operations Officer Karen Devet, the total cost for the renovation was around $4.2 million.