Posted: 7:16 am Sunday, March 29th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
Palm Beach Gardens was hoping to open the 2009 season in its new on-campus stadium, which currently is under construction. Then the Gators said they were hoping for a mid-season opening.
Now? Hopefully 2010, but nobody knows for sure.
“It looks like we’re going to be playing at Dwyer this year,” Palm Beach Gardens athletic director Bill Weed said. “Some talks have stopped. I don’t know if it’s a budget issue or what, but it looks like we’re another year away.”
That means this year’s seniors will graduate without ever having played a true home game.
As for playing at Dwyer, which the Gators have done while waiting for the new stadium, that isn’t as simple as it might sound. The Panthers and Gators both are scheduled for home games in Weeks 8 and 11. Weed said he already has talked with Dwyer’s interim athletic director Tom Pagley and said it is likely the Gators will play on Thursday or Saturday those weeks.
“It’s frustrating, but what can I do?” Weed said. “I wish I knew. I’m not involved in those talks.”
One of the issues still at play is whether the new stadium will have real grass or artificial turf. Weed is adamant that the school needs durable turf because of its limited space for practice fields.
The new school building is expected to be fully operational for the upcoming academic year and the staff is expected to move into it this summer.