The glass- and garbage-strewn field with water drains smack-dab in the middle is gone, as is the worn-out chain-link fence. In their places are shiny new FieldTurf and a sturdy wrought-iron fence. The pockmarked, potholed track has been replaced with a brand-new, all-weather rubberized version.
There are permanent lights where there were none, a concession stand with bathrooms, new aluminum bleachers, a press box better than any in the city and a quality loudspeaker system.
Thursday night, the Minneapolis South Tigers played their first football game at the school's newly renovated Les Barnard Stadium. The field has already been used for boys' and girls' soccer home games and has received nothing but positive feedback.
"It used to be horrible," said South athletic director Amy Cardarelle, a longtime girls' soccer coach at South. "It should reinstate pride in the school. People are like 'Wow, this place is really cool.' "