As the clock ticked down on Salina Sacred Heart High School’s football season Tuesday night, it was also ticking down on the life of Martin Stadium. The Knight’s 27 – 20 loss to Phillipsburg ended their season, and also marked an end to the stadium, which will be torn down to make way for a new sports complex.
Kansas Wesleyan University football coach Dave Dallas was on the sideline, watching the final few minutes of the last game ever at the stadium.
Glenn L. Martin Stadium has been the home field for Kansas Wesleyan University since its official name dedication in 1940. The stadium was one of the many Works Projects Administration projects in Kansas. Martin Stadium has been under lights with night games since 1983. It has also been home to Sacred Heart High School Football since 1978.
The stadium will be demolished to make way for a new sports complex. According to the school, the complex, a $7.5 million endeavor, will include facilities for men’s and women’s soccer, football, men’s and women’s tennis, softball, men’s and women’s track and field, cheer, and dance.
Dave Dallas coached games at Martin Stadium for 17 years. He began in 1989, when he was at Ottawa University, and every other year made the road trip to Salina. He became head coach at KWU in 1997, and coached Coyote home games at the stadium until 2006, when KWU moved its home football and soccer games to Salina Stadium. Sacred Heart continued to use Martin Stadium through this year.
Demoliton of some of the aging structures at the stadium will begin next week. The plan is for the new stadium complex to be ready for the first game of the football season next September.
There will be a monument to Glenn Martin, along with history of the stadium, at the new complex. The field will remain Gene Bissell Field.