Now that fall is here and school sports are in full swing, the Des Moines neighborhood has a brand new athletic addition in store just in time for conference play.
With an ever-growing Drake community, the surrounding schools and students in the Des Moines area got a stadium to share with the Bulldogs, and the new addition to campus is quite an important one.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, the new Mediacom Stadium had its ribbon cutting and kick off game with Des Moines Roosevelt High School and Waukee taking the field for the first of many high school football games at the stadium. People all over the community came to the kick off of the stadium, and it is all thanks to the Drake community and Des Moines Public School District that this was possible.
“While I may be new to Des Moines, I know what an important project this has been for both DMPS and Drake,” said DMPS Superintendent Ian Roberts. “I am excited to see the result, which is the best facility of its kind for our students. Our institutions each had the need for a new stadium. Working together, we’ve been able to maximize limited resources to begin development of Mediacom Stadium, a first-class facility for our students and our community.”
Having a new place for sporting events is a big deal for any school, no matter the level of education or size of the student body, and this new complex highlights that perfectly. Many high schoolers will now be traveling to the stadium for home games that their school hosts, but this stadium has more uses than just for high school sports. Drake athletics will be utilizing this new stadium to help bring the community together and grow the resources open to students, whether they are an athlete, or just a student trying to cheer on their favorite Drake sports teams.
“This stadium will bring more people to campus,” said Drake Women’s Soccer head coach Lindsey Horner. “The foot traffic should help improve the Drake neighborhood as a whole. I would hope the student body here at Drake would take an interest in watching men’s and women’s soccer as the facility is walkable, unlike the Cownie Soccer Complex currently used.”
With the new stadium bringing new Bulldog fans onto campus that normally have to travel, as well as a big following on the high school sports side of the deal, there is no doubt that this stadium will impact thousands.
“This stadium is going to have a big impact on Des Moines schools and metro schools in general,” said Hoover High School men’s soccer player Remi Saidi. “Almost all of our home games are going to be at this stadium, and going from the Hoover stadium to this one is going to be a beautiful change for sure.”
The budget for this stadium was primarily provided by DMPS and donations, but any extra money that was needed came from Drake University itself. The DMPS community funded its $15 million share of the stadium through the taxes the community collects. The overall project cost $24 million according to the district.
With the money raised for the stadium, opportunities for all public schools and Drake athletics were opened up like they hadn’t been in previous years.
“A project like this is not possible without partners and allies and supporters who are willing to push the envelope just enough to accomplish what others feel might be impossible to do. As we speak of partners, I want to make sure some very important, critical partners are thanked: the citizens and taxpayers of our community,” DMPS Board Chair Teree Caldwell-Johnson said. “Mediacom Stadium may be the most significant investment we have made to date for a new athletic facility, but it won’t be the last as we continue to do more to assess and address the needs of all of our school campuses.”
With such a great impact already, the future of the Mediacom Stadium is sure to be bright and full of potential as the community and Drake neighborhood grows in upcoming years.
This stadium marks the first of many acts to add to the campus life of students as well as giving students the opportunity to play at a better stadium with more capacity and technology to raise the bar for high school sporting complexes to come.