Carson Park gears up for the high school and college football seasons

By: Matt Hoffman Email
By: Matt Hoffman Email

It's hard to believe but it's that time of year again. This Friday night they'll be turning on the lights for the first games of the high school football season. Eau Claire Memorial, Eau Claire North, and Regis all play here at the football field in Carson Park. The UW Eau Claire football team calls this home field as well. One man is in charge of getting the field ready to go to host a lot of football this fall.

"Well I think we're all ready for fall football. I mean it's another season we look forward to and with four sport teams that play here it definitely brings another traditionally piece of entertainment to the area."
Dave Bohlinger is the park maintenance supervisor. He says there's a lot more involved to get ready for fall football as opposed to summer football for the crush and predators.

"The fall capacity of 5,500...of that 3,000 seats are moved in the fall to account for the larger crowds." He says it takes four people about a week to move those three thousand seats.

"The traditional bleacher move which seems like a major undertaking actually goes pretty smoothly. But there's so many other things going on in the park at the same time," says Bohlinger.

An annual test is also done on the artificial turf to make sure it is safe for the players. Bohlinger says the turf has had a huge impact on decreasing field maintenance through the year.

"It ensures that four football teams can play here all fall with the same uniform surface."

It's been a busy summer for Bohlinger after the May windstorm toppled 2,500 trees in Carson Park.

"When you see the larger devastated areas on the northwest corner of Carson Park it’s quite obvious how much tree failure we had there. So that's been cleared out and we have quite a few stumps to remove and they'll be another sweep through on damaged trees."

And for this first week of the season, the only home game here at Carson Park on Friday night will be for Eau Claire north. They're taking on La Crosse Logan at 7pm.

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