PREP SPORTS: Northridge sells football field naming rights

CHAD WEAVER | THE GOSHEN NEWSNorthridge High School quarterback Julius Graber (7) is greeted by coach Tom Wogomon as he returns to the sideline after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter of game at Wawasee in this file photo from Aug. 31, 2018.

MIDDLEBURY — Ground has yet to be broken for the new athletic complex at Northridge High School, however, the school corporation is ahead of the game when it comes to selling the naming rights for the football facility.

Middlebury Community Schools announced Wednesday the sale of those rights to Interra Credit Union. The Goshen-based business paid $250,000 for the rights in a five-year deal. The new venue will be called Interra Field.

“We are so very thrilled that our school community has allowed us to provide our students, coaches and teachers with these wonderful facilities and are very pleased with Interra’s support,” MCS Superintendent Jane Allen said in a school press release.

Plans for the complex include the construction of a football stadium, a baseball field and a softball field. All of the fields will feature artificial turf playing surfaces. Plans also include a nine-lane running track with state-of-the-art, field-event areas.

“We are excited to see the games begin in 2020,” Allen added.

“We are pleased to have Interra Credit Union partner with us on this project for our community,” MCS board chair Joanna King said in the press release. “This project reflects many years of planning by the board and administration to provide adequate facilities for our students in a financially responsible way.”

Interra is pleased to be a part of the project.

“At Interra, we are so excited to have the opportunity to partner with Middlebury Community Schools on such an impressive project,” Interra CEO Amy Sink said in a press release. “It further solidifies our connection with the entire community.”

The football stadium is scheduled to be ready for the home opener with South Bend Adams on Aug. 21, 2020. The new venue is expected to have a seating capacity of around 4,000 fans.

The baseball and softball facilities are expected to be ready for the spring of 2021.

The stadium groundbreaking is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m. It is open to the public.

“To be totally honest, it’s hard for me to put this into words,” Northridge Athletic Director Dave Harms said. “This is something we have been dreaming about and thinking about for a long time. This is something that will help us down the road. It is really going to make things happen.”

This is not the end of the process.

“There are going to be (naming) opportunities in softball, baseball and concessions,” Harms said.

Harms sees benefits for other sports in the Middlebury schools.

“The old football, baseball and softball fields will be used by the junior high programs,” he said. “This will be the first time we have had two practice facilities on campus in those sports.

“There will also be less wear and tear on the soccer field. The lacrosse program can use the turf field and will not have to worry about tearing up the soccer field.

“The process is going to open up a lot of avenues for us. I can’t say enough good things about it.”

Harms also sees benefits beyond the sports programs.

“If people come to the school and see we have nice athletic facilities they are going to want to come and see a play or a musical performance in the auditorium. You have to have something to draw them in,” he said.

The AD quoted a line from the movie “Field of Dreams": “If you build it they will come.”

Greg Keim can be reached at greg.keim@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN

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