Sunday, August 28, 2016
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas -- Harold Bonner, who attended Prairie View A&M from 1958-62, couldn't believe his eyes when he glanced up at the Panthers' pristine, $61 million stadium.
"We never thought we'd see a day like today," Bonner said of older PVAMU alumni, many of whom were in the crowd during the stadium's grand opening on Saturday. "It's almost like an impossible dream coming true."
It's true all right, and PVAMU will play host to rival Texas Southern at 5 p.m. on Sept. 4, in a contest televised nationally on ESPNU to usher in a new era. The Panthers have come a long way in a short time, in constructing the state-of-the-art stadium on the same site of the old football home, a bare-bones structure now only a memory.
"Where this university has come from is truly amazing," Panthers coach Willie Simmons said. "We want to thank everyone who has blazed a trail before today – who have made it all possible."
The 15,000-seat stadium holds 10 skyboxes/suites and 500 premium seats, along with a field house featuring a large weight room, a dining area, locker rooms and training rooms, among other amenities. The long-term plan calls for an increase to 30,000 seats on down the line – and partially based on the Panthers' on-field success moving forward.