Lake Norman Charter expands football stadium seating
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – Lake Norman Charter nearly tripled the number of seats in its football stadium with a renovation project this summer.
The school added several rows of metal bleachers, smoothed out parts of a steep hill leading from the adjacent middle school and built steps that will make it easier for fans to walk to their seats.
The stadium expansion will allow more than 2,300 to have seats, said Matt Schlegel, Lake Norman Charter’s athletic director. Seating in the previous configuration was about 810.
“You need a certain amount of seats to host (state) playoff events,” Schlegel said.
NCHSAA rules require that a Class 2A school – Lake Norman Charter’s size – must have at least 2,200 seats to host a football playoff game (1,450 for the home fans and 750 for visitors).
The bleachers are limited to one side of the field because a retention pond is just beyond the visitors’ side of the stadium.
“I think this will mean a lot to our students,” he said. “They’ll be able to get into the stands together and cheer. I feel like it will pull everyone together.”
The project also included new fencing, a press deck and improvements to the bathrooms and concession areas. The project cost about $140,000, Schlegel said. Some of that money came from booster club membership fees, but the majority was raised by Lake Norman Charter groups working as volunteers selling concessions at Bank of America Stadium during Carolina Panthers and college football games and several concerts last season.
Schlegel credited Christy Manahan, Laurie Fabian and Nancy Buckstad for organizing the volunteers. They had to make sure at least 50 showed up for every event, no matter the hour or the weather. The volunteers were a mix of students and parents.