The day is finally here for Ravenna Superintendent Dennis Honkala as Portage Community Bank Stadium is officially open for business.
The former Ravenna Stadium has undergone a $1.1 million renovation, including the installation of a blue artificial playing surface, as well as a new video scoreboard, a resurfaced track and various other landscaping improvements.
To celebrate the occasion, Honkala said that numerous events are planned in the hours leading up to tonight's football game between Ravenna and Louisville.
At Brown Middle School, an after-school dance is scheduled for the students, who will then go to a picnic before being shuttled over to the stadium for the game.
Meanwhile at the high school, the students will take part in a pregame tailgate from 5:30 until 6:30, complete with free food and a DJ to play music.
For the adults, the Ravenna Gridiron Club is putting on a tailgate in the parking lot leading up to kickoff.
Honkala said that, if things go well this evening, the idea of pregame festivities might not be exclusive to tonight's game.
"We have a very favorable home schedule this year, with games here against Kent Roosevelt and Southeast," Honkala said. "So we'll see how it goes tonight and (pre-game festivities) is something that we'll definitely look at going forward."
All of this will lead up to a 6:30 ribbon cutting ceremony at the 50-yard line of Gilcrest Field, where the various corporate sponsors and business partners who contributed to the stadium renovations will be honored.
Honkala said he expects a sell-out for tonight's game, but tickets are still currently on sale at the high school.
For those in attendance, the school has teamed up with Sports Xpress and Siciliano's Pizza in Ravenna to sponsor 2,500 white shirts that can be purchased at the school and inside the gate at the stadium for $5 each.
The shirts, which read "Ravenna Strong" on the front and "One Community, One School" on the back, are part of Honkala's planned "White-Out" for the home stands at Portage Community Bank Stadium.