By Wendel Sloan
Thousands of students, employees, alumni and community members are expected to file into ENMU’s new all-purpose Greyhound Stadium for the first football game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, against new Lone Star Conference member Western New Mexico University.
The on-campus stadium, located west of Highway 70 and southeast of the Greyhound baseball field (which is by West Campus housing), will see its first action on Saturday, Aug. 26, when Portales High School plays a night game.
Tailgating will be allowed in designated areas.
The $14.6 million stadium has a seating capacity of 4,000, with additional seating available on the grassy areas.
The artificial turf has drainage pipes underneath eight inches of coarse gravel, three inches of medium gravel and two inches of fine sand. It feels as thick and soft as grass.
Portales High School and ENMU have their own school-colors-themed locker rooms. Visiting teams will use the locker room of the one not playing that day.
With the eight-lane track, made from 3/8 inches of rubber and resin on top of three inches of asphalt, surrounding the field, ENMU will now be able to host college and high school track meets.
The press-box is state-of-the-art with wi-fi throughout.
In 2014 voters in the Portales Municipal School District, which includes the city of Portales and the surrounding areas of Roosevelt County, voted an overwhelming 86 percent in favor of approving a new bond that is providing $1 million in funding for the stadium.
Additional funding has come from ENMU and numerous donations to the ENMU Foundation, the lodger’s tax, local economic development, capital outlay from the state, $500,000 from former football player Al Whitehead and his wife, Lacy, $500,000 from the Addie Swearingen Foundation, $400,000 from ENMU grad Richard Griffith and his wife, Gilley, $250,000 from the ENMU Foundation, $200,000 from the The Tillery Family Foundation established by ENMU grad George Tillery, $50,000 each from Homespot of Portales, the Merrick Family with ACE Hardware and Ashley Home Stores, ENMU grad Ron Holcomb and his wife, Sarah, of Midland, Texas, ENMU grad Clint Ramsey of Lubbock, Texas, and students voting overwhelmingly to support the stadium with additional student fees for up to 30 years.
Over $150,000 was raised from individuals purchasing engraved bricks.
“We believe the new multi-purpose stadium will generate more school spirit, help with forward momentum in recruiting and will help teams be more efficient in weekly activities,” said Josh Lynn, Greyhound head football coach. “This stadium is a big step in turning a corner for ENMU athletics and the city of Portales.”
The ENMU Foundation is still accepting donations so that a hospitality room can be added in Phase Two of the project.
Donations may be made online at enmu.edu/donate or by calling the ENMU Foundation at 575.562.2412.
For more information about the stadium, call Ted Fares at 575.562.2511.