Zaepfel Stadium Construction Delays Football Opener - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Zaepfel Stadium Construction Delays Football Opener

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YAKIMA, WA. -- High school football season starts at the end of this week. But for the two schools in Yakima, Davis and Ike, they're not quite starting out on the field they wanted to.

The construction at Eisenhower High School is making it impossible for players to throw the pigskin around on the new field. The school district was planning on having the field ready for the season, so what went wrong? Well they tell us it's all about when the construction started. 

Work has come a long way since we saw it in June, but it hasn't come far enough. 

"We're just happy that we're getting Zaepfel Stadium completed," Jim Wright of the Yakima School District said. 

The school district was hoping to get Zaepfel up and running for week one of football. But as you can see, it definitely isn't ready. The school board explains that was because of a late start. The district had to make sure the proper funding and paperwork was all in order. Despite the inconvenience, people don't really seem to mind the late opening. 

"We thought there would be some disappointment but everyone is so excited to see that this is taking place," Wright said. "People are willing to adjust and make sacrifices and actually, we have a great plan."

That plan includes moving Davis and Ike football games to Marquette Stadium on Chestnut Avenue. Which the home of the private school La Salle. 

"La Salle High school has been very very cooperative with us," Wright said. "They've done a great job of making arrangements so that we can play our games there."

That allows crews to finish up the work on the brand new field. One that will be state of the art. All construction crews have left is to put down two more inches of gravel and then put the field turf on top of that.

"We go to the other facilities, we see what great places they have," Wright said. "Now when they come to Yakima, we are going to be known as a place that's a quality athletic complex."

It's a delayed start that will only build with anticipation. And we're sure the players will be the most excited of all. 

The school district expects to have the construction complete sometime in November, hopefully in time for the final game of the season in which Davis takes on Eisenhower, a huge rivalry game.