NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The new S.B Ballard Stadium at ODU is nearly ready for some football.
ODU Athletics on Wednesday hosted a private tour of the stadium for members of the media.
The public at-large will get its first extended look at the stadium when the Monarchs host the Norfolk State University Spartans on Aug. 31. ODU will play six games in the new stadium this season — mainly against Conference USA opponents.
Old Dominion held its first scrimmage of the fall camp under the lights at the new S.B. Ballard Stadium on Monday.
The $67.5 million stadium will seat just under 22,000, and have numerous notable upgrades from Foreman Field. There’s new lights, a scoreboard that rivals those used in the NFL, a new turf field and wide breezeways. Plus it’s one of only college stadiums to have backs on every chair and bleacher seat.
And without the track, the sidelines are now 7-10 yards closer to the field.
“When you’re behind the team bench areas you’re going to be able to hear what the coaches are calling on the sidelines from the stands,” said ODU Athletic Director Wood Selig.
Work on some of the other amenities like the Priority Automotive Club will continue into the season, but the stadium is complete enough to play football and fill seats.
Selig says the new stadium also presents a chance for students to create traditions.
“We want them to lay the foundation for generations of students to come.”
And a chance for all to leave a legacy.
You can go to NCAA tournaments, you can win conference championships, those are kind of annual events,” Selig said. “This is a legacy. This is going to be something that everyday when I drive walk by here for hopefully decades to come, it’ll be a source of personal pride for me and that I had a small part in S.B Ballard Stadium.”
This stadium was built so they can expand in the future. Officials hope it will service Hampton Roads for decades to come.