Home games away from home


Audrey Lippert

For the last three months the football stadium has been closed due to ongoing construction.

As a result of ongoing construction, athletes will not be playing fall sports games in their home stadium. The football stadium, which was officially closed on June 1, is receiving upgrades, including an expansion of seating capacity. Along with the expansion, construction has started on a new parking lot to accommodate additional spectators.


The school district created a project website, with details on the expansion, which is the result of a school bond passed in 2019. Students and parents can also use the website to sign up for email updates on the construction progress.


Increasing the size of West Linn High School’s stadium is needed to accommodate enrollment growth and increase safety,” the school district said. The student population now exceeds almost 2,000, with the current stadium’s capacity it would be impossible to safely fit every person in a seat.


Due to the construction, teams are practicing and playing in different places around the city. Owen Caba, senior, has been on the varsity boys soccer team since his freshman year. The team has been playing most of its games at Rosemont Ridge Middle School, while waiting for the construction to finish.


“It’s been tough,” Caba said. “A lot of the guys haven’t really experienced a real varsity year yet, because of last year with COVID-19, and then this year not being able to play under the lights at our own stadium.” Additionally, playing at Rosemont means there are no bleachers for spectators, no PA system, and no scoreboard, forcing the team to improvise.


“Our home opener against Lakeridge was at Rosemont,” Caba said. “We promoted it pretty heavily through our Instagram page and also just asked people to come out and watch. We got decent attendance there but I think if we hadn’t worked that hard I don’t think too many people would have been there just because there’s no place to sit.”


Milli Doblie, senior, was greeted by a wire fence and construction equipment as she, and the rest of the student body returned to full time in-person school for the first time in almost two years. 


“The construction is really stressful,” Doblie said.“You don’t really know when it’s going to be finished, and it just kinda sucks to look out the window, and see a whole parking lot that’s not even done yet that could have been done when we were doing Zoom classes.”


The stadium expansion will legally require the district to add more parking to comply with city codes, alleviating some of the parking issues that led to a student suing the city over lack of parking a few years ago. According to the district, “Additional parking would benefit the student body during school hours and improve parking lot safety during community events.” 


“I’ve been carpooling with my friends, because it takes up less individual spaces,” Doblie said. 

Lack of parking has been an issue for years, with some students having to park far away from the school, rent out spaces from people living in the neighborhoods around the school, or pay $50 to reserve a spot in one of the senior lots. 


Athletics and parking are not the only aspects of school life that are being impacted by the construction. Felicia Rainey, senior, plays saxophone in pep band and is adapting to playing in a new stadium. “We have to show up at 5:45 to get on a bus, and go all the way over to Wilsonville to set up,” Rainey said. “A lot of people have very heavy equipment, and not all of the big instrument cases have wheels, which can make it very hard on the people carrying them.” 


Rainey, and many other seniors, do not know if they will get to play in their home stadium for a final time, as no official date has been set for the stadium to re-open. 


“It’s a little upsetting, because that’s what I’ve been waiting for the whole time, but I’m just happy to be playing at a game period, with actual people,” Rainey said. 


As the year marches on the stadium gets closer and closer to re-opening. The lights have now been repaired,  new windows have been put on the press boxes and students can eat lunch on the turf.


“From what I’ve heard,” Caba said. “The stadium is not particularly close, maybe for our playoff games, but for right now, I know that the lights have just gotten finished, so I think we’ll be having 7:30 games there again.”