CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In the fall of 1947, a young football player named Hendricks Fox (’51) stood inside a newly built stadium, admiring the rows of bleachers and the white concrete walls. Sixty-six years later, on an overcast afternoon in November, he returned to the site with a sledgehammer and smashed a few chunks from the decrepit facility.
“I had four good years there, but they’ve been needing a new stadium for some time,” he said.
Shortly after Fox took part in the ceremonial demolition, the west side of the old Austin Peay State University Governors Stadium was leveled to make way for a new, $19 million facility. Designed by Rufus Johnson and Associations, the new stadium now seats 10,000 fans and features a special Club Level section and 13 luxury suites.
“I’m overjoyed they’re finally getting it,” Fox said.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13, the public is invited to share in Fox’s excitement during a ribbon cutting and naming ceremony at the stadium. Fans are encouraged to stick around campus and mingle from 2-4 p.m. in Tailgate Alley, on the west side of the stadium, and then head back into the facility to watch the Governors take on the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, at 4 p.m.
The stadium opening coincides with this year’s Governors Football Reunion. On Thursday, Sept. 11, and Friday, Sept. 12, former Austin Peay football players will gather for two days of golf while reminiscing about their days on the field. Those individuals and their families will be treated to a special breakfast at 8 a.m. on Sept. 13, and they will join APSU President Alisa White and APSU Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe for a special recognition during the game.
Former football players wishing to take part in these events need to RSVP with the APSU Office of Alumni Relations. For more information, please contact Nikki Loos Peterson, director of Alumni Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 931-221-7291.