Benedict football stadium gets new look for 2019 season
Columbia neighbors Benedict and Allen colleges will both play home games this season at the Tigers’ Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, Benedict announced Wednesday.
”I am proud that we were able to reach an agreement in a single conversation that will allow our sister-HBCU to play most of its home games in Columbia,“ said Roslyn Clark Artis, Benedict president and chief executive officer. “While this is not a permanent solution, our collaboration this season is a tribute to Charlie W. Johnson, whose name the stadium bears. He is not only the chair of our board of trustees, but he is a former NFL professional football player who understands the power of teamwork and sportsmanship.”
The Benedict and Allen campuses are located next to each other on Harden Street and are separated by Taylor Street.
Allen restarted its football program in 2018 and — without an on-campus stadium — played its home games at Irmo High School. Allen opens the season this Saturday against Clark Atlanta in a game that will be played at Fairfield Central High. The four remaining Yellow Jackets home games will be played at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, with the first one taking place Sept. 28.
Benedict (0-1) hosts Johnson C. Smith at 6 p.m. Saturday. The stadium will have a new look when the Tigers take the field.
The stadium, which opened in 2006, will feature new Shaw Sports Turf Momentum field turf and a new 25-by-43 feet digital scoreboard in the north end zone. The scoreboard is believed to be the largest in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which Benedict plays in.
The additions are part of the stadium upgrade project, which costs between $1 million and $2 million.
Other improvements include two digital marquee boards located in front of the stadium and in front of the college’s main entrance on Harden Street. There will be a new sound system and play clocks, as well as new landscaping outside the stadium and in front of retaining pond in front of the stadium. New concrete was installed on the concourse and other areas of the stadium.