The remodeled South High Athletic Fields at Williamsville South makes its Friday night lights debut for football against rival Williamsville East. The game starts at 7:15 p.m. but there will be a special ceremony celebrating its grand opening an hour earlier.
The gala includes a ribbon cutting, remarks from school and district officials, a thank you video from students and the introduction of Billies football alumni, including some as far back as the 1950s and more recent past stars Joe Licata and Phil Stasiak.
The new home includes a multi-purpose all-weather surface stadium with seating capacity of 2,700. In addition to football, the field is used for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse.
"We've been able to look at it for three weeks but haven't been able to go on it (too often)," said football coach Kraig Kurzanski of the multi-use facility that's already hosted soccer and field hockey games. "All the pomp and circumstance around it, I think it'll be great."
The facility features new concession building with restrooms, press box, scoreboard, stadium lights, sound system and a 10-lane track.
While parking is limited at South, the school will offer free shuttle bus service to transport fans from the Mill Middle School parking lot, 505 Mill St., beginning at 5 p.m.
The revamping of old District Field -- which hosted plenty of night games over the years -- was part of $22.4 million project to install multi-use synthetic turn athletic complexes at each of Williamsville's three high schools. Williamsville East is set to debut its new digs next Friday night against Sweet Home – a Class A North clash that pits current East head coach Mike Torrillo against his former team as he was a longtime assistant under retired coach John Faller.
Williamsville North opened its complex last year, with the district holding a grand ceremony during Week Three.