Grand Islanders can own a piece of Memorial Stadium history and support the campaign to renovate it as part of a new project.
The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is selling 9-by-9-inch pieces of field turf that was at Memorial Stadium from 2008 to 2019 inside 12-by-12-inch shadow boxes. Each box will also include a medallion from either Grand Island Senior High or Grand Island Central Catholic.
Traci Skalberg, executive director of the GIPS Foundation, said the field turf is symbolic as 2008 was the first time Memorial Stadium had field turf. Prior to that time, the stadium had a grass field.
“We took about a 3- to 5-foot swath of the home sideline on the west side,” Skalberg said. “That is what we ended up rolling up so that we would have the opportunity to have those hash marks and sideline marks in it.”
She said the shadow boxes can be ordered four different ways. They can be ordered with a plain green piece of field turf inside or with a piece of turf that has a sideline or a hash mark on it. Purchasers can also choose from either a Grand Island Senior High medallion or a Grand Island Central Catholic medallion, since both teams play on the field at Memorial Stadium.
The cost of a shadow box is $150, with $90 of the sales going to the Memorial Stadium project. The field turf shadow boxes can be ordered online at www.gimemorialstadium.org. Skalberg said the best way to purchase a shadow box is through the online store, but tere are also paper order forms available at the GIPS Foundation office.
The shadow boxes must be picked up in Grand Island.
“We didn’t know how we could ship them and keep them safe,” Skalberg said. “We also felt the shipping would be really cost-prohibitive.”
The deadline to order the shadow boxes is Nov. 8. She said the GIPS Foundation has this as a deadline because it wants to have time to “assemble everything” by Christmas. The hope is that the shadow boxes would be ready for pickup in late November or early December.
Skalberg said the foundation has already had a few orders for shadow boxes and expects there to be more “as the word gets out.”
“You can put something in your man cave or affinity room and support the stadium project,” she said. “This is like getting a brick or something from a building that mattered to you. That stadium spot is important to generations of our community in terms of Friday night lights and the things that happen there. It is just an opportunity to own a piece of history. If you can do that in addition to supporting the stadium project itself, that is a cool way to go.”