By Billy Liggett
BUIES CREEK — Last year, it was the new lights. This year, it's all about atmosphere.
When Campbell University's football team takes the field for its home opener Saturday night, it'll do so in a completely overhauled Barker-Lane Stadium. Gone are the temporary stands and press box that stood for the program's first five seasons, and in its place are 25 rows and 3,000-plus additional seats and a two-story press box that houses a presidential suite level.
The additions double the stadiums permanent seating capacity to about 5,200, and the athletics program hopes they add more excitement for not only the fans, but the players as well.
"From our student-athletes and coaches point of view, this is such a tremendous source of pride," said Campbell Athletic Director Bob Roller. "Barker-Lane Stadium will now be at or near the top of all Pioneer Football League stadiums and many FCS stadiums. We are so grateful to the generous support of Campbell alums and fans who have made this possible."
Saturday's game against Virginia Wise (kickoff is 6 p.m.) will also mark the home debut of new football coach and former Carolina Panther defensive back Mike Minter.