The New Everett Veterans Memorial Stadium: A Reflection of Champions
By Keith Spencer
While not yet open to the public, driving by the refurbished entrance to the Everett Veterans Memorial Stadium is simply spectacular. With various infrastructure improvements over the last several years, the Everett High School Crimson Tide finally have a stadium fit for their growing number of championship seasons.
Visible from Revere Beach Parkway and just outside of Everett Square, the refurbished stadium will become a remarkable centerpiece for the City of Everett. The stadium’s original entrance, which housed a ticket booth, concession stand and bathroom, has been closed for years due to serious structural issues.
Despite other recent renovations to the field and stadium, work on the front entrance was put off repeatedly. After years of neglect, the front entrance was merely forgotten. As a member of Everett’s younger generation, I have never used the entrance despite dozens of trips to one the city’s most hallowed grounds.
As the Crimson Tide began to win numerous championships in the late 1990’s, crowds once again began to flock to the stadium each week to watch the state’s best high school football team.
Over his tenure as a city official, the eyesore in the corner of the stadium has always been unsettling to Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Jr.
“Here in Everett we have a great team, playing other greats like St. John’s Prep or B.C. High,” DeMaria recalled. “While we were impressive on the field, the stadium did nothing to showcase the pride in our community or the pride that we have in our kids. So we decided to change that.”
In November of 2008, the city received a $500,000 grant to refurbish the stadium under the state’s Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program. With the help of former State Senator Anthony Galluccio, Governor Deval Patrick, Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire, and the Everett City Council, Mayor DeMaria implemented a three-phase project that will be completed later this year.
Starting with the installation of artificial turf, limitations posed by weather no longer affected games. It also eliminated the need to apply chalk boundary lines before every game, a labor-intensive task.
The installation of turf also enabled more teams to practice and play at the stadium, doing a great deal for youth sport programs including the Everett Huskies and Everett Eagles football leagues as well as Everett Youth Soccer.
DeMaria and the City eventually moved on to adding additional visitor bleachers, fixing the public bathrooms and locker rooms in the existing field house, and added a concrete walkway along the Cabot Street entrance to the stadium.
While work is still being finished, it is certainly no longer an eyesore. According to city officials, the World War II Roll Call Board is ready to be installed in the spring. Given the amount of space, they hope to eventually designate the area as a Veterans Memorial Plaza, honoring all veterans from Everett who served in the United States military.
According to officials the plaza outside the stadium entrance will be open to the public at all times.
In order to save costs, the structural repairs do not allow for the same uses as the original entrance. There will be no built in concession stand or ticket booth, however, the new structure and general refurbishment of Everett Veterans Memorial Stadium is a testament to all the teams in Everett High School history that played in the stadium.
With a new generation of both football and soccer players in the city, the Everett Crimson Tide hopes to add more championship banners to the stadium.
An official rededication ceremony is in the planning stages for the spring.