UWA to play season opener in Demopolis
Published 8:29 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2010
An idea became a reality Tuesday when the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education voted to allow the University of West Alabama Tigers to host their 2010 football season opener against Shorter College (Rome, Ga.-NAIA) at DHS’ Tiger Stadium.
“It sort of was an idea that took place after we got the stadium built and then we made the switch over to UWA at the Demopolis Higher Education Center,” Demopolis Mayor Mike Grayson said of the process, which culminated Tuesday when board members heard the proposal by UWA Athletic Director E.J. Brophy and Demopolis High head coach Tom Causey.
“We have a great relationship with Demopolis,” Brophy said. “Marengo County is our second largest alumni group in the world. Not only that, but we have the Demopolis Higher Education Center. We felt like this would be a way to say ‘thank you’ to our fans for all they do for us.”
After initially being presented with the idea, Brophy met with Demopolis High and city representatives to discuss the logistics of the proposed relocation.
“Anytime you try to play a game at a different venue, there are always going to be a few potential hurdles,” Brophy said. “But as we looked at it more, there really weren’t any.”
Among the items to be sorted out were the splits on parking and gates. Causey informed the board Tuesday that UWA will take 65 percent of the gate while Demopolis High takes 35. Those numbers will be reversed for the parking cost split. The DHS band boosters will also work the concession stands at the Saturday, Aug. 28 game. That contest gives Demopolis athletics an extra boost over the income it will absorb from the five regular season home games the DHS football team will play in 2010.
“The money is going to be nice,” Causey said. “But I think it is going to benefit our kids, having the opportunity to see a college football game live. “I think the City of Demopolis is going to benefit from it as far as the gas stations and restaurants and hotels. It’s a really nice thing (UWA is) doing for us.”
“We just thought it was a great opportunity for UWA to play a home game outside of Livingston. And it worked out with their schedule that they have a team coming from the East,” Grayson added. “Kind of a mutual benefit. It gives us a chance to get our name out there and let people know Demopolis is open. The main thing is the image we will be able to cast out.”