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No plans for updates to Jacksonville's historic Tomato Bowl

No plans for updates to Jacksonville's historic Tomato Bowl

POSTED: Monday, April 28, 2014 - 10:31pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 4:51pm

The famous home to the Jacksonville Fight’n Indians, some residents say, is in need of some major upgrades. The historic Tomato Bowl stadium was erected in the 1930s but hasn’t seen any major improvements to the grounds since the 1980s, accodring to the Jacksonville Independent School district records. Some people in Jacksonville say it’s time for a facelift. "It's as old as Jacksonville is, every time you drive by it looks like something is falling off of it,” Jacksonville resident Eli Jackson tells KETK News. “"It does need a facelift, on several different parts on the inside, the restrooms and concession areas and bleachers,” said Roy Johnson, a 40 year resident of Tomato town.

The famed stadium has produced some top NFL talent in years past, but Johnson says it’s since become an eyesore, “there are some things that could be done to make it a more enjoyable experience for people to come out and enjoy Friday night lights."

Jacksonville Superintendent, Joe Wardell, said the district has organized a facility committee comprised of citizens and school leaders to discuss the needs of the school district’s needs. Those needs are then presented to the school board for final approval, “The topic of the Tomato Bowl has come up many times in these groups,” Superintendent Wardell said, “once they've really looked at everything that's there, they've made the decision that the educational needs are more important than the athletic needs."
As of right now the district has budget restraints tied up in other projects to benefit JISD students, such as plans to build a brand new West Elementary campus, and make improvements to Nichols Middle School.

Wardell could not give KETK News an exact time-frame as to when, or if, any improvements will be made to the stadium in the near future. But said it will continue to be discussed by the facilities committee and the school board.



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