Madison's Avenue

Click on right here to entry all three episodes of the podcast


The primary time I walked into Rhodes Stadium on the campus of Elon College one thought instantly jumped into my thoughts. “Invoice Hunter would have by no means believed this to be potential.”

This occurred in 2007, 9 years after Hunter’s demise in 1998 from most cancers and 6 years after the gorgeous 8,250 seat, $13 million stadium opened. He would have by no means believed such an occasion and facility to be potential on the Elon campus.

Hunter was an Elon alum from Graham who turned one of many main sports activities writers and editors in North Carolina throughout his 37-year profession with the Burlington Instances-Information. He was my boss and mentor throughout the 5 years I labored as a sportswriter on the newspaper. He coated practically all the pieces that concerned athletics at Elon, however soccer was his specialty. Through the years he spent dozens upon dozens of Saturdays within the press field watching Elon rise to nationwide prominence in small-college soccer. The entire video games have been performed off campus at Burlington Memorial Stadium positioned at Williams Excessive Faculty. I bear in mind quite a lot of autumn Saturdays once I didn’t have a sport to cowl once I would be part of Hunter on the stadium, which was inside strolling distance of my duplex condominium on Summit Avenue in Burlington. I believed it a bit bizarre that I might stroll to an Elon residence soccer sport, however a pupil on campus couldn’t.

The reality is, I used to be additionally taken unexpectedly by Rhodes Stadium in 2007. I left Burlington in 1992 to be information editor on the Jacksonville Each day Information on the North Carolina coast. In 2007 I used to be introduced again to the Instances-Information to be govt editor, a place as soon as held by Don Bolden, who initially employed me with Hunter’s endorsement in 1983. I knew little or no about Elon’s emergence and development throughout the interval I lived on the coast. Upon my return, Don typically referred to the modifications at Elon as “unreal.” It was his favourite phrase to explain it.

Rhodes Stadium, named for Dusty and Peggy Rhodes who contributed $2 million towards its building, was amongst these modifications.

Whereas I used to be conscious an unimaginable new stadium existed, I knew little or no of its historical past, notably about how a worldwide occasion altered the date for its first sport, which was initially set for Sept. 15, 2001. Loads occurred in America within the days main as much as that date, which pushed the primary sport in Rhodes Stadium to Sept. 22. Elon’s first sport on its campus since 1909 must wait.

A lot of this historical past is roofed in a superb new podcast produced by Journey Durham of 2D Consulting in Burlington. Journey, who has spent a lifetime in athletics, together with a stint at Elon throughout the planning and opening of Rhodes Stadium, calls the podcast ‘An Elon Soccer Odyssey.” He has assembled a large number of voices to inform this story from retired coach Jerry Tolley, who led two NAIA nationwide championship groups in 1980 and ’81 to Leo Lambert, who was president on the time of the stadium’s building and opening and is now president emeritus.

I’ve recognized Durham since his highschool days and he allowed me to have an early take heed to the podcast to get any ideas I may need about it. I instructed him it’s glorious work and I might fortunately share it right here when he wished to make it obtainable on Aug. 4.

I don’t need to give away very a lot so listeners can recognize its wealthy particulars and observations. However I’ll say that Durham has assembled a compelling story that additionally coincides with the horrific occasions of Sept. 11, 2001, which might have a worldwide influence and remind all of what’s actually essential.

I used to be unaware of how Sept. 11 performed a task within the stadium’s historical past till 2011 once I was planning a particular part on the Instances-Information marking the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist assaults on the World Commerce Middle and Pentagon. I didn’t have time then to study extra about it. The podcast fills in these blanks for me and does a great bit extra. I believe individuals related Elon and with sports activities within the Piedmont will recognize it.

Listed here are some details about Rhodes Stadium

Location: North Athletics Advanced, Elon College, Elon, North Carolina

Price: $13 Million (together with different North Athletics Advanced enhancements such because the 57-foot Alan White Bell Tower, named for the retired director of athletics)

Design Architect: Ellerbe Becket, Kansas Metropolis, Mo.

Seating: 8,250 (1,000 with backrests). Contains 6,500 residence (west) seats and 1,750 guests (east) seats (10,000 capability utilizing household picnic seating on north finish of bowl; 20,000 capability with future enlargement to surround bowl)

Stadium Dimensions: 12,000 gross sq. ft. footprint, 3-story press field, 55 ft. above floor stage

Facilities: 4 VIP Suites – every with membership seating for 12, President’s field seating for 36,, Concourse stage foyer/lounge, Press stage with broadcast capabilities (seating for 35; twin rooms for coaches, cameras, radio), Area lighting for evening video games, Celebrational brick and stone entrance arcade, Household picnic seating (north finish of bowl), Concessions stands (2 – residence stands and 1- guests stands)

Similar Posts