BEMIDJI, Minn. -- One of the most unique athletic venues in all of collegiate sport is getting a facelift. July 8, construction crews began work on Bemidji State University’s Chet Anderson Stadium.
The project totaling $1.3 million, will include demolition of the running track currently surrounding the field and the installation of a new entry plaza with the focus of the project being the installation of a new drainage system and synthetic playing surface.
In just over 30 working days, crews will remove the current natural grass surface, originally installed in 1989, install a perimeter curb, drainage system and turf, complete with BSU’s athletic logo.
Not only will the stadium’s new playing surface be home to the BSU and Bemidji High School football teams as well as a potential site for Minnesota State High School League playoff games, the widening of the field will also allow BSU’s soccer program to shift locations to Chet Anderson Stadium.
The project is slated to be completed August 26, just in time for the Beavers’ fall 2013 seasons. BSU’s first home soccer game is slated for 5 p.m. Sept. 6 versus Missouri Western State University, while the BSU football team will first take the field Sept. 14 when it hosts Concordia University-St. Paul for a 6 p.m. affair.
Home to Bemidji State football since 1939, Chet Anderson Stadium was built in its stunning lakeside location with a $172,000 federal grant to upgrade athletic facilities on campus. The stadium’s original construction included concrete bleachers on each side of the field with seating for approximately 3,000 people. Since that time, “The Chet,” named after legendary Bemidji State coach Chester A. Anderson in 1996, has undergone some modification, but the main structures are the same today as they were more than 70 years ago.
BSUBeavers.com and the Bemidji State Athletic Media Relations Office will provide fans with a behind-the-scenes look at the project from start to finish. Plans have been made for a live video stream of the project to accompany weekly interviews of the coaches and players affected by the upgrade as well as the administrators and men and women that are and will be working to bring the project to completion.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).