Mercer coach says new stadium is special starting point for success
"When it first started it was just a gigantic hole, with a lot of mud," said Mercer Head Football Coach Bobby Lamb Friday, as he surveyed the school's new football and lacrosse facility slowly coming to completion. "In the last couple weeks, the green has gone down, and the turf has gone down, and as you can see the green really pops, the orange, it pops, and I think it's the perfect setting for a college football game."
After a 70 year hiatus Mercer Football is back and Lamb has some lofty goals for his new team's role in the Middle Georgia Community.
"Our goal is to be Mercer's team number one, Macon's team number two, and Middle Georgia's team number three," Lamb said.
But before the first whistle is blown, before the first pop of pads, and even before the athletes show up at school, there are some tasks that must be completed. Those tasks include finishing construction on Mercer's new 42,000 sq. ft. field house, and it's 4,000 seat stadium.
The field house which will include a sports medicine clinic operated by the Mercer School of Medicine, football and lacrosse coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms, a student lounge, locker rooms, a weight room and a training room, is a sports complex Lamb says will be invaluable to his team and the school.
"These sixteen, seventeen, eighteen-year-olds would like to see something tangible, where they're going to play, where they're going to lift weights, where they're going to meet, where they're going to dress, and I think if you've got the best, certainly that will attract the best student athletes to our university," Lamb said.
Nearly 100 young men plan to hit the turf next months as construction crews race to make up for lost time and meet an August, 15, deadline, but right now Lamb says he's just enjoying watching it all come together.
"I think we can all be proud of this facility once it's done," Lamb said.
Once it's done is when the real work begins, as Lamb prepares his team not only for success on the field, but in the community as well.
"I think the foundation that that [sic] group lays is going to serve this area and this university for a long time to come," Lamb says.
The football team will begin play during the 2013 season. The schedule hasn't been released yet, but at least 7 home games are begin promised to season ticket holders who have bought special packages.
Administrators at the school aren't releasing the cost to construct the facilities, but according to our media partner, the Telegraph it's estimated to cost around $17 million.