Stop printing EBT cards and illegal immigration ceases to exist. Global warming would take a hit too....

Stadium project officially launched

1 of 8

Ground is broken for the construction of the south side of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Jan. 11, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Although the dirt that soiled their gold shovels had been staged under a tent to protect it from turning to mud in the afternoon drizzle, there was no faking the rattling of jackhammers, beeping of reversing trucks and steady hum of cranes in operation in the background.

East Carolina waited until Thursday afternoon to gather school officials, coaches and Pirate Club members adjacent to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to celebrate the start of a $60 million renovation to the school’s football home, but the sounds of construction already well under way were the backdrop to the event.

“We needed to do some things that made a statement, but we needed to do them with a purpose,” ECU director of athletics Jeff Compher said of the Southside Renovation Project that includes a new press box, a premium seating tower and many new ways to experience games. “We needed to do them in a way that would add some things to the fan experience as well as the student-athlete experience.”

Compher reiterated that the first step in rethinking the stadium experience was to ask fans what they wanted, and the work being done in the periphery of the groundbreaking reflected that.

Results of surveys helped to lay the early groundwork for the project, which also aimed to improve the daily lives of athletes by redesigning the football locker room and the training rooms in the Ward Sports Medicine Building, things that Compher said “hadn’t been looked at in 30 years.”

Also addressing the crowd were ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton, Pirate Club Director Phillip Wood and ECU football coach Scottie Montgomery, all of whom grabbed a shovel afterward for a ceremonial turning of the dirt.

The project is slated for completion in 16 to 18 months, and Compher said $30 million has been raised to this point.

“Turn around and you can see the timeline in action,” Compher said. “We didn’t ask them to stop work. We asked them to keep going while we’re here today.”

Compher also noted the demolition of the bottom floor of the Ward Building was complete, and the press box was among the first things removed from the stadium.

Montgomery said there is an increased feeling of self worth anytime someone moves into a newer, nicer place, and likened the stadium project to that feeling.

“What the Pirate Club and Pirate Nation have given us the ability to do is prepare,” Montgomery said. “I’ve probably been as guilty as anyone else of using the terms winning and losing too much. The thought should be placed more on preparation. That’s exactly what the Southside Renovation Project gives us the ability to do. It gives us the ability to train our student-athletes at the highest possible level in the conference and in the country.”

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


October 21, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing East Carolina’s home football game against 10th-ranked Central Florida, which ended with UCF pulling away for a 37-10 victory on homecoming night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Here are the answers, and…


October 20, 2018

As the final seconds ticked off the clock at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday night, two numbers still resonated with the matchup between 10th-ranked Central Florida and upset-minded East Carolina.

One. Twenty.

Freshman quarterback and Greenville native Holton Ahlers was making his first start and…

102118ECUfootball-2.jpg (1).jpg

October 20, 2018

A wet ball proved to be the first major stumbling block in the first-career start by East Carolina freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers in a 37-10 loss to Central Florida on Saturday night.

After marching his trailing Pirates to the UCF goal line early in the fourth quarter, Ahlers tried a jump pass…


October 20, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing East Carolina’s home football game against 10th-ranked Central Florida. 

Check back after the primetime matchup for answers to the questions and more insight from the game.

1. Who wins the…


October 20, 2018

Before Holton Ahlers signed on Dec. 20, 2017, to play football at East Carolina, he was a star quarterback at D.H. Conley High School. Before that, a baseball slugger unlike anyone else who had ever played on Greenville recreational fields.

“That thing broke my darn windshield!" a woman…


October 20, 2018

New starting quarterback Holton Ahlers and East Carolina welcome undefeated Central Florida to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium tonight for a primetime matchup on ESPN2 that many people around the country will at least check in on to see if UCF could get upended.

There is no denying that a win by the Pirates,…


October 20, 2018

Q: Why did you want to major in criminal justice?

A: I’ve always liked (TV) shows like “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Miami” and “Law & Order.” I just decided I wanted to be something in that field, like a DEA (Drug Enforcement…


October 19, 2018

While the American Athletic Conference East division remains a three-team race, Houston is in the driver’s seat as the only remaining unbeaten team in the West.

Houston, which just defeated East Carolina 42-20 and has won its first two league games by an average 18.5 points, moved to No. 2 in…


October 19, 2018

Central Florida’s 19-game football winning streak saw its closest contest yet last Saturday at Memphis.

The 10th-ranked Knights recovered from a slow start and rallied to win, 31-30, for a 6-0 record this season.

Following that emotional victory with a road game versus a struggling opponent…

SMU UCF Football

October 18, 2018

Less than three weeks away from starting a new season on Nov. 6, the East Carolina women’s basketball team had a major change in leadership Wednesday when head coach Heather Macy resigned at the conclusion of an ECU internal review into the program.

Macy, who is the winningest coach in ECU…

224 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 23
        Next Page»   Last Page»