TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee was built in the 1960's, and since then, not much has changed. Friday nights have seen thousands of athletes, and many a memory has been made.
"I've played everyone of my high school games there," said Rickards head football coach Quintin Lewis, who also played for Rickards in the 1990's. "I've watched my brothers play there."
"I actually played at Gene Cox Stadium when it was Capital Stadium," said Superintendent of Leon County Schools Rocky Hanna. "I played for Gene Cox 35 years ago when I was a football player at Leon High School."
Those memories, will always remain, but Gene Cox is getting a much needed face lift.
"We like the very best surface and the safest surface," said Ricky Bell, who's the Director of Student Activities for Leon County Schools. "I think we're getting that with this product."
This product? A brand new turf field, and most agree, it's a much needed upgraded for a stadium loved by so many.
"These guys deserve it man," said Lewis. "All the hard work that everybody over the years has put in on that field."
"This enhances that field, which needs it," added Bell. "There's not been a lot done there in years, besides re-sodding which is what we do every year."
"The county did a good job of coming up with a plan and they went and did some research and found top of the line, state of the art turf," said Garrett Jahn, who played at and is now the head coach at Leon High School.
State of the art turf coming with a price tag of $700,000, but it's money well spent. Leon County comes out on top in the long run.
"The field costs us around $80,000 to maintain," said Bell. "We're going to save that. Over an eight year period, we'll recoup our investment."
"We won't have to worry about watering," added Hanna. "We won't have to worry about fertilizer, the cutting the grass, we won't have to worry about any of that."
"It's going to feel different," added Lewis. "I used to come out the first game and smell the fresh cut grass and feel the soft turf. It's going to be bittersweet, but it's much needed."
Much needed, and it won't be long before new memories are carved out, at Gene Cox Stadium. The field will also be lined for soccer, and lacrosse and flag football are expected to play at Gene Cox as well.