The wait is over.
It’s time to unveil the new football stadium at Free State High. At 7 tonight, the Firebirds welcome Shawnee Mission North to town for the first varsity football game at the new field.
While most of the excitement surrounding the venue is focused on the new stands and the luxurious locker room facility, school officials are asking fans who plan to attend to abide by the following game plan.
For starters, only the west bleachers will be open for tonight’s game, meaning spectators from both schools will be asked to sit on the same side. SM North fans are asked to sit in the far north end of the west stands. Temporary bleachers, as well as designated standing areas, also will be in place to handle a large crowd.
In addition, fans are asked to park in the student parking lot north of the school’s main entrance and the lot of the Indoor Aquatic Center, north and west of the school. FSHS athletic director Mike Hill said the school is asking people who park near the Aquatic Center to fill up the north side of the lot first, therein leaving room in front for patrons of the pool.
Those who attend Friday’s game as workers — including coaches, officials and other school staff members — are asked to park in the west lot between the main gym and the athletic fields. This lot will only be accessible by possessing a parking pass distributed by the Free State athletic department. Temporary handicap parking will be available in the same lot. A parking pass is not necessary to enter, as long as the vehicle is equipped with a handicap sticker.
The stadium’s main entrance will be at the southeast corner of the field, where two ticket windows now sit.
As for after the game, cars parked in the student lot (north of the school) will be funneled along the east side of the school and will be allowed to leave school grounds by going east or west along Overland Drive. Those parked in the Aquatic Center lot will be sent along the west side of the school and will only be able to exit west onto Overland Drive.
Hill said law enforcement officials would be on hand to help direct traffic.