By CLINT FOSTER
When Ram Stadium was completed in 2008, the people of Mineral Wells could only imagine the over-arching positive impact the venue could have on the city’s economy.
Five years later, the 7,000-seat stadium on the campus of Mineral Wells High School not only provides a state-of-the-art home for the football and soccer teams, but also hosts multiple events and playoff football games, bringing more out-of-town business to the city than ever before.
Friday’s state quarterfinal six man football matchup between the local Strawn Greyhounds and the Newcastle Bobcats represented the third-consecutive week Ram Stadium hosted a playoff game in the month of November, with the undefeated Graham Steers playing the first two games of their Class 3A Division II playoff march in the previous weeks to a full house.
Mineral Wells head coach Chuck Lawrence said Ram Stadium’s high-dollar facilities are a great draw for any football team.
“It’s not only a great venue for our kids and our fans,” he said. “I’ll just use Graham as an example, I talked to coach [Kenny] Davidson last week and he told us what a great job we did hosting the games. (Rams assistant coach) Sean Harvey does a great job with the stadium as far as the management of it.
“We’ve got plenty of dressing rooms; we can give each team three dressing rooms. One of the best things about our stadium is there is approximately the same amount of seating on both sides. So when we host a Graham/Glen Rose that’s going to give us a fairly large gate, the people on the visiting side don’t have to suffer. You look at a stadium like Weatherford’s and the visiting side just is not very good. The home side is fantastic, but the visiting side is not up to par.