It has been a thrill to watch our community come together to support each of these milestones. This week we would like to extend an invitation to another special occasion: On Friday at 6:30 p.m. we will officially change the name of Perry Stadium to Cardinal Stadium.
Anyone who has driven by Southport in the past few months has already noticed the transformation taking place. Signage that once marked the turf as Perry Stadium is gone. Now the scoreboard and bleachers proudly display the Cardinal moniker and logo. While we celebrate the new era of the new name, we will also show our respect and appreciation for the stadium’s rich history.
The stadium was constructed in 1936 and named Roosevelt Stadium because it was a product of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration initiative.
Once Perry Meridian High School was built in 1973, district leaders decided that both schools would share the stadium. Therefore, they changed the name to Perry Stadium to represent Southport and Perry Meridian high schools.
In 2013, Ray Skillman Auto Group generously financed artificial turf for the field, which became known as Ray Skillman Field. Ray Skillman Field at Cardinal Stadium continues to serve as a beloved gathering place for several generations in the Perry Township community.
It took a great amount of teamwork from each school to alternate schedules and make this arrangement work for so long. Yet, these township rivals did so with a great attitude.
Now, here we are, 44 years later, changing the name once again to commemorate a new phase. Now that the Falcons play at their own stadium, the Cardinals will call their school’s stadium “home.”
We hope you will join us when we dedicate the stadium with its new name. We will unveil a plaque inscribed with a brief summary of the stadium’s history while fondly looking back on the memories and looking forward to making new ones. The Southport-Franklin Central game follows at 7 p.m.