Introducing new Tiger Stadium – A historic event

Published 7:00 am Friday, October 13, 2023

A historic event, the opening of the new state-of-the-art Tiger Stadium, will take place at Greenville High School’s (GHS) Homecoming game on Oct. 13. With close to 4,500 seats, the vivid turf field and the largest high school digital scoreboard in the state, Tiger Stadium will be something to experience for all community members. 

President of the Butler County Board of Education, Michael Nimmer, explained that GHS has not played a true home game since 1970, when the school last had its stadium on its school campus.  

“This is a big deal,” Nimmer said. “There’s only two high schools in the state that have facilities sitting on the interstate, which is Saraland and now us. We wanted this so our kids, our students and their families have someplace they can be proud of. We really needed it.”

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Principal Jamie Howard said the stadium has been a dream for him since he arrived at the school. 

“Friday will be a historic unforgettable night for Greenville high school and the Greenville community,” Howard said. “This is not just a football stadium. This is a place for students to call home.”

Butler County Superintendent Joseph Eiland said it was in 2021 when he first thought about the possibilities of having a stadium on the GHS campus. 

“I just continued to pray,” Eiland said. “It was really a leap of faith for me and the board members. A vision to do something great for the students at Greenville High School and the community.”

Nimmer explained that the stadium was purchased with a bond that will be paid for over 30 years. He said the digital scoreboard will pay for itself in a few years time as the back of the media board will be used as prime advertisement real-estate. Nimmer and Eiland said they have other lucrative plans for the stadium that will also aid the community’s economy, including band and drill competitions. 

“It’s not just going to be football,” Nimmer said. “The field is already stripped out for soccer matches and we plan to host all kinds of band competitions here as well. If you get 10 to 20 bands, plus their supporters and families, coming into Greenville on a Saturday, think about the economic impact that that alone will have on our community’s economy. There’s just so many possibilities.”

Eiland also mentioned that he has reached out to a few well known performers to see what it would take to host their concerts in the Tiger Stadium.

Tiger Stadium attendees will adhere to new parking, entrance and security regulations. Parking for home fans will be in the auditorium and student parking lots with a $2 cash parking fee. Handicap and visitor parking will be in the back next to the athletic facility. There will be two points of entry and all attendees must adhere to the clear bag policy which includes purses, backpacks, diaper bags, and other bags. Everyone will be scanned by handheld metal detectors, which will soon be replaced by walk-through detectors. 

Tickets are $10 cash at the gate and $9 on the GoFan app, while children four years and under are free. There will be no loitering of any kind in the parking lots, aisles, ramps, or at the gate areas. 

There will be no tailgating in the end zone areas. No smoking, vaping, tobacco use or alcohol will be permitted. The Greenville Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department will be instructing parking and upholding the stadium regulations during the game. 

“We want people in the stands, on their feet cheering and enjoying the game,” Eiland said. “You can see the field great from anywhere you sit in the stands. We don’t want people leaning on the rails and blocking the walkways to the concessions and bathrooms, and we want to keep our new stadium in prime condition. The new safety rules are for the student’s and community’s protection, and we will do whatever is necessary for that.”

Eiland explained that every dollar that goes into the stadium and games will go back into school programs, like the nutritional program that feeds children and athletes after school, as well as the school’s repaving project.

Eiland said he and the board are grateful for the support received by many persons and parties, some including Greenville Parks and Recreation Director Jerome Harris III, the Butler County Commissioners, Mayor McClendon, Principal Howard and Coach Pimienta. 

“I’ve got to give a shout out to William Love, our maintenance director,” Eiland said. “He’s spent countless hours working on this field, while working three different construction jobs plus maintaining the maintenance for our six schools. I can’t say enough about him.”

Eiland said it will all be worth it to experience what is to come at the Tiger Stadium.

“This is historic,” Eiland said. “I can assure you, it is not going to happen again.”