COVID-19 Delays New Mt. SAC Hilmer Lodge Stadium Debut
By Fred Robledo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Longtime Mt. San Antonio College track & field coach Doug Todd, who is also the Director of Athletic Special Events, which includes planning for the popular Mt. SAC Relays and Mt. SAC Cross County Invitational, joked about going through withdrawals last weekend, because for the first time since since 2015, the Mt. SAC Relays were finally returning to the school on April 16-18.
But obviously the Mt. SAC Relays, like every other sporting attraction, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a long four years of renovations that were delayed and delayed while it worked through a number of issues with the city of Walnut in order to finish renovations for Hilmer Lodge Stadium, the time had finally arrived to show it off.
Hilmer Lodge Stadium has been turned into a state-of-the-art 11,500-seat stadium that could potentially expand to 20,000 seats for bigger events, but when it will make its long-awaited, much anticipated debut is anyone’s guess with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to stall sporting events for the foreseeable future.
The rebuilt stadium was designed for football and track & field, and features a nine lane, 400-meter track, a natural turf infield, a new press box and a giant 85’ x 37’ LED screen.
Todd said he dreamed of what the debut last weekend would have looked like.
“For all of us that take part in the Mt. SAC Invitational, we all sort of imagined the early starting events, the field events, the distance carnival and we kind of went through withdrawls thinking about it,” Todd said. “We were kind of living it in our heads even though it wasn’t here.”
Nobody could have predicted the unlikely events of this spring and the way the world has practically come to a standstill.
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