Inspection shows Volusia football stadium not ready for high school season

Bleachers at New Smyrna Sports Complex need to be replaced, report says

By Loren Korn - Reporter

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - Three high school football teams were searching to find a place to play on Tuesday afternoon after a Friday inspection report showed that the home bleachers needed to be replaced.

"We are completely shocked by the findings," said David Ray, the New Smyrna Sports Complex manager.

The city thought it was just going to upgrade its bleachers this year, but it'll now have to start from scratch and the environment is to blame.

"Exactly where the complex sits is really a half a mile from all the salty air that slams into it on a consistent basis," said Ray.

Ray said replacing the home bleachers will cost $1.5 million, money the city doesn't have after it bought a new scoreboard and play clock. Now, it's left with a $400,000 budget.

Athletic directors, school administrators and city leaders met on the 14-year-old field to talk about their new game plan.

"We'll have portable bleachers that we are lining up at this point. It's a cost that the city is going to take," said Ray.

The portable bleachers could cost anywhere from $8,500 to about $12,000 for the season. Ray believes with the portable bleachers and a newly renovated visitors side, they'll be able to fit about 1,800 fans in time for the first home game.

"We'll have the portable bleachers in place, the lifts, we will have everything ready to go," said Ray.

Spruce Creek High School will play Sea Breeze High School at the Complex on Aug. 28.

The City of New Smyrna also said it'll be hiring a new structural engineer for a second opinion.

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