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Stadium still standing

Memorial Field project pushed back to winter, causing problems for area football teams.

June 02, 2010|By Jeff Tully
(ROGER WILSON / The…)

BURBANK — Burroughs High football Coach Keith Knoop realized his team would have to make do without a home field for the 2010 season.

The coach was told the renovation project to construct a new stadium, running track and football field on the school's Memorial Field site would begin the first week of June.

With his team being displaced for a project that would last past the 2010 campaign, Knoop and the Burroughs administrators had to schedule all the Indians' 10 home games on the road.

Burbank Coach Hector Valencia and the Bulldogs were in the same boat, as the team also uses Memorial Field as their home venue.

Having resigned themselves — and their teams — to their fate for the upcoming season, the coaches were floored when they were told last month that the construction project would be delayed.

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According to the Burbank Unified School District, construction of the project isn't expected to begin until late November or early December.

"With the delay, that means that we are going to have to play most of our games on the road for two seasons now instead of just one," Knoop said. "If we had our way, we would have liked the construction to begin [this month], so it could get finished earlier."

Knoop said he was able to get three Pacific League games — against Glendale, Arcadia and Burbank — moved back to Memorial Field. However, the other seven contests will be on the road.

"With next year included, that means that essentially we'll have 17 games on the road," Knoop said. "And that doesn't even include playoff games."

Valencia was equally frustrated with the delay. His team had to deal with displacement a year ago when construction was underway on Burbank's new field and running track.

Along with the rivalry game with the Indians, Valencia said the Bulldogs have convinced two league opponents to play at Memorial Field next season.

"It's disappointing, because we expected the construction to start right after the school year was over," Valencia said. "Now they're telling us that there's going to be another delay? That's just not right."

Valencia said the delay is going to cost the program, and the district, more money.

"Because we scheduled all those games on the road next year, that's going to cost us more money," he said. "It's expensive to bus kids to games. It costs $270 an hour for a bus, and we have to pay that now for road games that we could have played at home."

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