Tonight is the night. Almost 16 months to the day after being condemned, The “New” Pit football stadium opens tonight at Minden High School. “And there was much rejoicing.”

For those who have not made the journey down Ash Street yet, you are in for a “wow” moment. This new stadium is truly a sight to behold. A new gateway welcomes you to the home side of the field. A large and inviting concession stand and restrooms anchor the south end zone. The paint is fresh. The grass is in place. Field goal nets adorn each endzone. It’s all new, but still feels like The Pit.

As we all take in the newness of the stadium, let us not forget all the people and organizations that worked together to make it all happen. From the top leadership, down to the boots on the ground, muchs has taken place over the past 16 months.

Just Thursday morning, coaches were striping the field, while the Booster Club hung banners. Others were power washing the sidewalks. They all deserve our thanks.

In addition, let us not think the work is “done.” Just a few feet behind the stadium is the old gymnasium, field house, locker room, etc. — all still condemned. Their future is still a bit uncertain, but should not be forgotten.

As I have said many times in this space, sports tourism is a real economic driver for a community, and this new stadium complex is a great starting investment in that arena. Let’s keep it rolling.

We can use the excitement surrounding this home opener, and the two home games that remain as real, tangible boosts to our economy. Local businesses are marking the occasion with special products and offers. Restaurants should follow suit and cater to the before and after crowds, both local and visitors.

As we all celebrate tonight, let’s put our best foot forward. Let’s thank those involved in this process for their tireless dedication to this rebuild. As with any project of this magnitude, there will be things the some folks do not like. Tonight is not the night to air those criticisms.

There is a lot of history in the space known as The PIt. A new chapter begins tonight. As a community, we can help write that
chapter with our attendance, our encouragement, and our support.

Let’s show up in force. Let’s be excited about what has happened and what lies ahead. Let’s cheer the Tide on to victory.
Roll Tide Roll.

David Specht is president of Specht Newspapers, Inc. He may be reached via email at