Saturday will be the first time in nearly 80 years that fans will no longer be walking into Cowell Stadium as the UNH football team takes on Holy Cross at 7 p.m. Instead they will be hit with the overwhelming excitement of the brand new Wildcat Stadium. With updated amenities, including a new state of the art video board, luxury seating and other additions, Wildcat Stadium will be highly accommodating.
“My visions have been exceeded for this whole project. We definitely got a lot of bang for our buck. There’s nothing like it in the state, it has a very dramatic presence. We had no idea it was going to be this nice,” Athletic Director Marty Scarano said.
According to Scarano, the new stadium is important not just as an addition to the university, but to the state as a whole. “It’s a great branding opportunity. We get to put our best foot forward and show people what this university has to offer. Hopefully this stadium attracts people and gets them interested in attending our university,” Scarano said.
Along with the many additions, there are some traditions that Scarano said will stay the same. “We talked to the students and they said that they wanted their seating to continue to be in the ‘dungeon,”’ he said. This new stadium is for everyone, but students are very important to Scarano and the rest of the athletic department. “We have done a lot of work. We want three to four thousand students attending each game. We want students to circle these football games on their calendars and get excited,” he said.
Another addition to the stadium is a 30-by-50-foot interactive video board. In the future, Scarano hopes that video cameras will swarm the dungeon and get students up on the board during games. “We want our students to have a presence at these games. We want this to be a blast. We’ll charge the student body by bringing the juice this year,” Scarano said, employing the team’s season mantra for playing hard –“bring the juice.”
Wildcat Stadium is also beginning a partnership with UNH Hospitality Services. The concessions are fueled all by UNH and there will be a diverse offering of food at affordable prices. “We are delighted to have UNH Hospitality as partners,” Scarano said.
This stadium has been in the making for a while now and no one is more excited than the athletic department to reveal their newest project. “You only get to do this once. Getting to this point has been an enormous achievement,” Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs Jon Danos said.
“Nine out of the 10 people that have seen the stadium already have said that the experience has been great and that this is great for our community. The feedback that we have had has been extraordinary,” Danos said.
Coach Sean McDonnell is focused on the game plan for Holy Cross, but is overall excited for the chance to finally show off the new stadium. “I imagine Saturday night, it’s going to be a great day to be here at the University of New Hampshire,” he said.
Defensive end Cam Shorey also spoke positively about the stadium. “We’re so excited. We hope that the fans bring lots of juice and energy for us on Saturday night.”
One of the best new accommodations for fans is the addition of 88 restrooms in Wildcat Stadium. This is a huge upgrade, as the facility previously had less than half the new amount.
The first 11,000 fans to arrive at Wildcat Stadium on Saturday evening will receive a commemorative towel for the grand opening. The first 2,000 fans to arrive will take home a magnet with both the football and men’s hockey teams’ schedules on it. After the conclusion of the game, there will also be a firework show to welcome the audience to the new stadium.