Last Friday night, Blue Valley West and Blue Valley Southwest high schools played on their new home varsity-level competition stadium for the first time.
The stadium, located at 16200 Antioch Rd., was the completion of a nine-month project approved by the school board last summer.
Financed with funds from the district’s capital outlay budget, the new stadium is not the district’s largest, but it does fit around 4,000 fans total, according to the district.
For the project, stands, concession stands, restrooms and a locker room complex were added to an already existing field in front of the school.
With the new stadium, additional opportunities will be provided to Blue Valley students outside of just football.
“Blue Valley West hosts a large track meet every year, so the stadium will be able to spread that out so we’re not always using up one of the main stadiums,” athletic director Matt Ortman said.
Additionally, the stadium will be used for marching band events, plus soccer and several other varsity sports competitions.
The decision to build the new stadium at West was due to several reasons, Blue Valley director of communications Kaci Brutto said.
At West, the stadium is within close proximity to emergency services. A fire station is right across the street, and a hospital is just east of it as well.
West was also chosen to host the stadium for traffic purposes. Being located on the four-lane Antioch Road, with multiple entrances, planners assumed that coming and going from games would run more smoothly there.
Ortman said the stadium was a necessity. Before this, the district — with five high schools — had two football stadiums, with three schools sharing one facility.
That resulted in a lot of Thursday night games and doubleheaders on Fridays.
“Any of those events just don’t quite get the same turnout,” Ortman said.
The stadium was ready just in time for West and Southwest to play each other in the first game of the season.