Taking shape: Speaking of football, Rougher Village prepares for first practice, first home contest | Sports
As Rougher Village nears completion, the September 2 football season opener scene at Rougher Village will not be the final release.
But tonight’s kickoff against Putnam City will go ahead as planned with all the 7,500 capacity seats ready for takers.
Muskogee football will be able to enter the field for the first time on July 11, assistant superintendent Lance Crawley said during a tour of the facility with the Phoenix this week. Turf has been installed and finally, the real Rougher logo will adorn the playing field, as opposed to a generic “M” that is found in midfield at Indian Bowl.
But, at this point, fan amenities such as permanent concessions and restrooms will not be ready. Portable or temporary arrangements will be put in place, Crawley said, as all pitch house facilities will remain off limits for the time being.
“As much as we would like, the fully completed new house will not be ready this season,” he said. “We are ready to make the necessary adjustments that will meet the needs at this time.”
As the construction of the country house continues, some adjustments will be made to the parking lot.
A shuttle service will be in place for the duration of the season from the public parking lot a block or two east of the stadium, where Ollie’s and Mini-Max grocery stores are located, among other outlets at detail. Details of this service will be released on a weekly basis “due to the changing nature of the build from game to game,” said sporting director Jason Parker.
The planned visiting dressing room, which is part of a renovated area of existing classrooms in the G-Unit building located just outside the stands on the east side of the stadium, will be used for Muskogee players along with other classroom spaces set up for desks and things like that. The visiting team will use a temporary configuration of classrooms and washrooms also in Unit G. Eventually, the Roughers’ locker room, offices and weight facilities will be in the new gym.
For underclass games, depending on logistics, Indian Bowl will be used – college games will remain there. JV games will depend on certain factors as the full move is made.
“It’s really going to be a function of who’s scheduled where,” Parker said. “It works best when we can hire staff for multiple games, but any time we can get them to Rougher Village it will work better logistically once they are fully settled there.”
Reserved seats, like all bleachers, have no backrests. Fans will be able to bring their own portable versions in the meantime. Parker said that due to delivery logistics, an order of these for a user fee will not be available until 2023.
“With the timing, not everyone we contacted was able to deliver exactly what we wanted, so we’re not going to move forward with that at least this first year,” he said.
The finished product, which includes a new gym, is rushing to an expected end in December/January.
The basic structure of the gymnasium is in place. Seating and flooring are yet to be done, but a pass gives a strong resemblance to what will be.
Crawley did this tour with the Phoenix and went further in his description.
“The square footage is similar to Tulsa Rogers,” he said, referring to the site where the men’s basketball team’s season ended last year in the finals of consolation of the region. “We didn’t design it from that, but when I was there for the playoff game I was like, ‘hmm, our top tier is a little bit higher. Theirs went down a bit lower which I didn’t like as the walkway obstructed the view. Here, people in the first row will be above the catwalk.
An additional 100 fans will have access to seats in the Varsity Club, located beyond the north baseline. This room will extend to the soccer field, which will have a porch to exit. Crawley compared him to Gallagher-Iba in the end zone at Boone Pickens Stadium at Oklahoma State.
The Varsity Club football terrace will be used for seating for special occasions, such as those attending Hall of Fame night, Crawley said. But that, like other uses of the country house structure, will have to wait for occupancy.
Information on ticket sales will be forthcoming.