Mitchell Stadium

Mitchell Stadium

BLUEFIELD — Bluefield’s Mitchell Stadium will not only host Gov. Jim Justice tonight, admission to the game will be free and fans will be treated to a fireworks display after the game.

It’s all part of a celebration of the stadium’s designation earlier this week as “America’s Best High School Football Stadium.”

Mitchell Stadium was one of 16 high school stadiums across the country selected by the sports staff of USAToday to compete. What followed was four rounds of online voting, playoff style, with Mitchell eventually coming out on top, besting top stadiums from around the country.

During halftime of the game between Bluefield High School and Woodrow Wilson High School tonight, Justice will read a proclamation related to the designation.

City Manager Dane Rideout said as a way to thank the community and region, admission to the game will be free.

“Bluefield High School appreciates the support of everyone across the two Virginias that supported Mitchell Stadium, and has waived the admission fee for the game, so attendance will be free,” he said. “The City of Bluefield is sponsoring a fireworks display immediately after the game.”

The game starts at 7:30 p.m.

In conjunction with the celebration, Jamie Null, executive director of the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is releasing a video about Mitchell Stadium as part of an effort to bring the state high school football championship games here next year.

“On the verge of Friday night’s football games, the Super Six South Committee has released a new video in support of hosting the West Virginia Football Championship in Mercer County,” Null said, referring to the committee organized by former Del. Marty Gearheart to bring the tournament here in 2020.

“After such positive support for Mitchell Stadium and the area, this video showcases why Mercer County is the perfect backdrop for the Super Six,” she said.

The “Super Six” refers to the six teams, two from each division (A, AA and AAA), that play each year for the state championship, an event that has been held in Wheeling for the last 20 years.

Null said the video was completed with the help of the City of Bluefield (Brandon Saddler) and Jim Nelson is the narrator.

Null, Gearheart and Josh Cline presented the video as part of a presentation to the WVSSAC (West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission) in December 2018 to ask to start a rotation of the games between Wheeling and Bluefield.

“We needed something visual,” Null said. “It’s great to stand there and talk about your facilities and the great accommodations, but if you see it in a video as you would in person it helps bring home the message that we have what it takes to host (the Super Six).”

Nulls said with the morale high about the stadium and the community coming together in support, now is a good time to post the video on YouTube for everyone to see.

The video was originally shown in 2018, she said, as part of a two-year pitch to get the games here.

Null said the video is also a good way to let people know that if the Super Six becomes a reality, volunteers will be needed.

“We can’t pull it off without our community involvement,” she said.

Gearheart said the bid to host the games here in 2020 will be made next month and a rotation would mean the Super Six South here one year and the Super Six North in Wheeling the following year.

— Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline.com

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