The iconic Lodi Grape Bowl is ready to open its gates for the fall football season.
Another donation has come in through the Save the Grape Bowl Fund, run by Jack Fiori. The fund was created in 2007 by Fiori and others to help the city pay for renovations to ensure that the stadium is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Memories are made at the Grape Bowl,” Fiori said. “It’s rewarding to know it will continue being a place where memories are made and tradition will endure.”
This time, recent fundraising was able to gather $176,500 from community members.
The 73-year-old stadium is the site of football and soccer games every year, as well as the Grape Bowl Classic Band Review and other events.
Save the Grape Bowl cash is held in trust by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, a nonprofit community foundation that the Lodi Community Foundation operates within.
Football coach Louis Franklin is anxiously awaiting the day when his Tokay High School football team can invite their fans to watch the games at a refurbished stadium.
“I’ve heard people say the only good thing is the field, and now the surroundings match it,” he said. “They’ve definitely modernized everything.”
The current construction project is scheduled to be completed by the end of next week. Renovations include adding new wheelchair-accessible ramps, a new Stockton Street entry, plaza, ticket booth, concession stand, restrooms and landscaping.
Donations are still needed to fund additional improvements at the stadium, such as a matching concourse on the north side of the stadium and additional entry features. Naming rights to the stadium and several of its elements, including the concession stand, are available as well.
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