There is a proud claim by some of the founding fathers of Memorial Field on the campus of Bellarmine Prep.
When the football field was laid down in the 1940s, it was the city of Tacoma’s first grass field for high school athletics.
And today – it is the last one still around.
What the Lions are expecting to unveil Friday is their new home grandstands – just in time for Lakes to come to town in a non-league matchup of heavy hitters.
Because of the slower-than-expected construction, there was some thought late in the summer that this second-week tilt would move to Lakewood.
But Bellarmine Prep athletic director Ed Ploof confirmed Tuesday that won’t need to happen. The school is expected to obtain its certificate of occupancy, and complete its inspection in the next couple of days.
“I don’t anticipate it’s going to be a problem,” Ploof said.
The old wooden grandstands, which sat along the west end of the venue, were taken out in late May.
In its place comes an enclosed aluminum structure which will seat roughly what the old set of stands did – 1,800 people. But the new grandstands will sit four rows higher than its predecessor – with plenty more elbow and leg room.
“It was a time for an upgrade,” Ploof said. “The access in and out of the facility is much better … much easier for the adults to get out of.”
The project cost nearly $500,000, Ploof said. Most of it is being funded by private donations.
“The lighting is better,” Ploof said. “But I’ll tell you, we still have the character of Memorial Field – no track and the stands are still right on top of the action.”