A fairly significant college football facility will debut this weekend, as Panther Stadium will host its first action on Sunday.
On September 4, the Prairie View A&M Panthers will host Texas Southern for the first game since the completion of Panther Stadium. To help grow the program, Prairie View A&M built the new $61 million stadium on the former site of Edward L. Blackshear Field, which was demolished in January 2015.
The development of Panther Stadium is significant on a few fronts. First, it allows the Panthers to return to campus after playing their home games last season at Walker ISD Stadium. Additionally, Panther Stadium will introduce several new amenities to the program, including more modern player facilities and a stadium that, for the fans, seats 15,000 and offers modern suites and premium areas.
A&M officials, including chancellor John Sharp, believe that Panther Stadium could allow the entire campus to grow. More from the Houston Chronicle:
“What has happened here makes people look at Prairie View A&M University,” Sharp said. “And if you’re a junior in high school and you walk on this campus, and see the most beautiful campus in the state of Texas – not just in the A&M system, but in the state of Texas – you’re going to wind up coming here.”
Football won’t be the only sport to enjoy the new digs officially dubbed the Prairie View A&M University Sports Complex, as well.
“We are going to be able to recruit to the highest level,” women’s track coach Angela Williams said.
And that’s exactly what PVAMU president George C. Wright hoped to hear – after hearing so much about the Panthers’ infamous 80-game losing streak over the years.
“Unfortunately that losing streak was not just on the football field, it led many people to believe that Prairie View the university was a loser, which it never, ever was,” Wright said. “This new facility puts to rest, it buries forever, any idea that Prairie View is a loser. Rising out of the ashes of all of that is this facility, right here today.”
The vision for Prairie View A&M must be fairly ambitious, as Panther Stadium was built with the ability to potentially double its seating capacity in the future.
Image courtesy of Prairie View A&M athletics.