On Thursday, Oct. 12, the communities of Drake University and Des Moines came together to celebrate the grand opening of the Mediacom Stadium.
Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, speeches were given by officials that were involved in the project. Dr. Ian Roberts, superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS), led the series of addresses by giving his thanks to those who worked on the stadium, including Drake University’s President Marty Martin and the DMPS school board, along with the sponsors who donated generously to the project.
“This stadium will produce amazing students, outstanding student athletes, and great citizens of the future,” Roberts said. “Welcome to Mediacom Stadium.”
Following Roberts, Brian Hardin, Drake University’s Athletic Director, took the podium to speak on behalf of Drake’s athletic department. Now that the stadium is ready for games and practices, Drake’s soccer teams will have a home base. Prior to the grand opening, Drake’s men’s soccer team versed St. Thomas at the stadium, winning 2-0.
“It is definitely a good change of pace to be on campus,” said Quinn Millerd, a soccer player for Drake University. Another player, Damian Segura, added that the Mediacom Stadium is notably more convenient, allowing for more students and family members to come out and watch their games.
DMPS cheerleaders were excited for the grand opening as well.
“I am definitely looking forward to the public participation,” a cheerleader for Roosevelt High School said. “I feel like it really encourages people to go out and support the public schools and watch our athletics and I think it will really help our athletic department in the future.”
Following Hardin, Kim Nartorano, Vice Chair of the DMPS board, delivered her speech. She emphasized the collective efforts of the school board and her gratitude for the contributions to this stadium.
During the conclusion of her speech, Martorano announced the moment everyone had been waiting for: the ribbon-cutting. Several community members gathered for the special moment, including DMPS cheerleaders and band members, Drake University officials, and even Griff II, Drake’s beloved live mascot.
“It is abundantly clear that a project of this magnitude would not be possible without the unwavering support, dedication, and collaboration of our partners, allies, and supporters,” Martorano said.
Later that evening, Roosevelt High School and Waukee High School marked the first high school football game to be played at the stadium. Waukee won, with a final score of 42-14.