The Platteville High School varsity football team won’t play its first game at UW–Platteville’s Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium this year until Sept. 26, the sixth week of the regular season.
Because of the EF2 tornado that ripped through Platteville on Monday, June 16 and the resulting damage, Pioneer Stadium will not be ready for play until mid-September.
The university is currently in the midst of replacing light towers and fencing, as well as repair work on the precast cement forms that make up the base of the stadium. According to university officials, new GrassPro artificial turf is scheduled to be installed the second week of September.
That means the Platteville Hillmen had to make other arrangements for scheduled non-conference home games on Aug. 28 against Holmen and Sept. 5 against Viroqua.
After opening the season Friday, Aug. 22 with a 3:30 p.m. game at Darlington, Platteville will host Holmen Thursday, Aug. 28 at Cuba City High School at 7 p.m. The following week Platteville plays host to Viroqua at Potosi High School Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.
The Hillmen will then travel to Black River Falls on Sept. 12 and then to Prairie du Chien on Sept. 19 before hosting Richland Center Sept. 26 at Pioneer Stadium.
According to UW–Platteville facilities/PAC/intramurals director Curt Fatzinger, Pioneer Stadium opened in 1972, and Platteville High School has played its varsity home football games there ever since it opened.
Before that, PHS and UW–Platteville games were at Hill Field in Legion Park with the field running from left field to right field across the outfield. There were stands on both sides, but the majority of seats were on the outfield side closer to the Pitt Street. Part of the dirt baseball infield was in play on the football field as well.
The Platteville school district was one of the original donors for Pioneer Stadium construction, so the school district was given a 50-year lease to play its home games at the stadium.