First game experience in Tiger Stadium

Published 10:03 am Monday, October 16, 2023

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Tiger Stadium opened its gates to the Greenville community for the Greenville High School Homecoming game on Oct. 13. Fans poured into the stadium to support the team and experience the grandeur of the nearly $8 million stadium. 

School officials said there are still kinks to work out for parking, entry and exit but felt this was to be expected for the first big turnout. 

The Greenville Tigers fell to Rehobeth in a close game 18-21. Greenville High School Principal Jamie Howard said the team is getting better each week. 

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“The game was like it has been all season, decided by one or two scores, players playing hard, coaches having a great game plan and one or two penalties or breaks not going our way,” Howard said. “Our team is doing what all teams do that will eventually be good, and that is to get better each week.”

Superintendent Joseph Eiland said the Tigers’ fans were great and several lessons were learned in the opening of the stadium that will be addressed this week. 

“There’s a need for additional staffing to speed up the parking ticket process,” Eiland said. “Parking was also tedious due to the crowd size. The police department and the sheriff’s deputies were perfect with the parking process. I feel that as we transition to adding our parking fee to, that process will speed up. Overall we were thrilled to see our Tiger family enjoy the sights and sounds of the new stadium.”

Howard said that with such a large crowd Friday night he is grateful there were no accidents reported.

“The police officers on campus did a tremendous job planning weeks prior to the first game,” Howard said. “Their presence and the job they did was second to none. This stadium is an awesome structure, it was homecoming, and everyone wanted to see this community changing structure, so attendance was unbelievably great!”

The principal added that he was disappointed to hear complaints about parking. 

“We travel all over Alabama to play at other schools, they charge our faithful fans $5 to park and I have never received one complaint about giving that $5 to that school’s students,” Howard said. “However, there seems to be an issue paying less than half of that for our own students. Next year parking will be $3.”

Howard explained that the district is working towards cashless opportunities with a reliable, safe product for both the school and fans that will hopefully be available soon. He said that all stadium policies will be strictly enforced at the next game, and encourages all fans to review stadium policies and procedures on Greenville High School’s Facebook page. 

Howard described the experience of the stadium opening as something he will never forget. 

“It was the ultimate Friday night football experience!” Howard said. “Everything from the turf to the video board, the concessions and the light show. To see the look on the student’s faces, the crowd despite the rain, the first kick off and to have some of my family there with me was a memorable experience I will never forget. Go Tigers!”