Finding the stadium, finding a seat
Boyle County has made six trips to two different stadiums in Louisville for the state finals, but the Rebels and their fans will take a different road to the title game Friday when they head west to Bowling Green for the Class 4A championship against Lone Oak.
Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium is the same site where Boyle played Bowling Green in a season-opening bowl in 2007, but it is not the same stadium. A $50 million renovation to the Western Kentucky University venue gave it an entirely new south grandstand that includes more seats and a stadium club, refurbished facilities in the original north grandstand, new artificial turf, a video replay board and even a Sonic concession stand.
Just about everything you need to know about getting to WKU, finding a parking spot and maybe finding a place to eat or stay in Bowling Green is covered at a well-constructed Web page on WKU’s site: www.wku.edu/gridiron.html. Keep reading below for a few more things you might find helpful if you’re making the trip.
This a much smaller stadium than Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the most recent home of the state finals, but its 23,600 seats should be more than sufficient for this game. (Photos of the stadium can be found at a link from the above WKU Web page.)
The good news is that a “small” crowd of 5,000 or 6,000 won’t get swallowed up by the empty seats. The bad news is that most of the stadium’s seats are bleachers, not chairbacks. There are some chairbacks seats on both sides of the stadium, but those are being sold as reserved seats. The rest of the seats throughout the stadium (except for the club) are general admission.
If you buy tickets at the stadium, they’ll cost $10 for general admission or $15 for reserved seats (if available). And as has been the KHSAA’s practice in recent years, every game will require a separate ticket. Stadium gates will open to fans one hour before kickoff, which is at noon ET.
Boyle is the designated home team for its games, meaning the Rebels will wear black jerseys and have the bench on the south (new) side of the stadium. Boyle fans will be on that side as well, somewhere within sections 101-114. In the five centermost sections (104-109), the top eight rows or so — roughly half of the section — consists of reserved seating. The stadium club above that level is also reserved, and it is sold out.
Other details from the important to the mundane can be found on this KHSAA Web page. To get really detailed, check out this 24-page KHSAA manual (a .pdf document) on what teams, players and fans can and cannot do.
For more football-specific details, like rosters, depth charts and stats, visit this KHSAA page.
Finally, since this is a Friday afternoon game, I’ll have my weekly preview post online this evening, technology willing.