The end of an era: Fitzgerald stadium set to undergo renovations
RAPID CITY, S.D. — It’s the end of an era for Post 22’s Floyd Fitzgerald Stadium.
“I’ve already gotten emotional a couple of times over the past week thinking about it.”
“It’s really a bittersweet day, I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of days here.”
“It is bittersweet. We’ve spent a lot of time here, you know nothing is ever going to be the same.”
The feeling of nostalgia-filled the air Sunday at The Floyd Fitzgerald Stadium as Post 22 played its final home game of the season before renovations are set to begin. Starting Monday, July 20 the stadium is getting a facelift to the tune of $5 million, an overhaul first of its kind for the field.
Built 63 years ago in 1957, it has been a staple of the community for generations.
“Played here for four years,” said Post 22 Assistance coach Nick Ewing. “My older brother played here. My dad played here. Had three uncles play here. Floyd Fitzgerald is my great grandpa’s brother. This stadium has been in my blood for as long as I can remember.”
Armed with many memories of what once was, Coach Kelvin Rorve, who was a bat boy for the Rapid City Chiefs and Post 22 during his childhood, says though the modernization of the stadium will take some getting used to, but he believes it will be a positive change.
“It’s like moving into a new house, I would think,” Torve said. “There’s going to be things you don’t anticipate both in the good and the bad and so I just think it’s going to be different. It’s not going to be better, worse, it’s gonna be different. I think it’s going to be better so I’m excited about it.”
Many came out to witness Sunday’s last game of the Veteran’s Classic Baseball Tournament.
“There’s a lot of alumni parents here today to enjoy the last experience here before the renovations start, so it’s a good homecoming. Good reunion for a lot of us.”
The stadium is expected to be complete by May of 2021 in time for the season opener.