Tomato Bowl history to be preserved amidst major remodel - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tomato Bowl history to be preserved amidst major remodel

The current exterior of the Tomato Bowl that will remain the same. The current exterior of the Tomato Bowl that will remain the same.
Artist rendering of redesigned Tomato Bowl Artist rendering of redesigned Tomato Bowl
Artist rendering of redesigned Tomato Bowl Artist rendering of redesigned Tomato Bowl
Plans for Tomato Bowl remodel Plans for Tomato Bowl remodel
JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) -

Built in the 1930s, the Tomato Bowl has become the heart of downtown Jacksonville. Now, after 75 years, the traditional stadium is set to undergo some major changes. Last night the district received the final plans for the remodel.

“In two years you’re going to see a brand new stadium from the inside,” says Chad Kelly, Jacksonville ISD Superintendent. “New dressing rooms, concessions stands, restrooms, and the entire seating area will go up to about a capacity of about 8,000.”

The stadium will also receive new lights, turf, windows and much more. However, a bit of history will be preserved.

“What’s going to be preserved is the historical wall around it, everything on the outside as you see it now will be the same,” says Kelly.

To some students the wall is the stadium's most important part.

“A lot of college and NFL players have played within the walls we're playing in. Not tearing that down kind of keeps that together,” says Josh McDowell, Jacksonville football player.

The project is projected to cost $15 million and will be funded using an investment bond that will be paid off over the next 28 years. Back in May, tax payers approved the bond which will result in a seven cent increase per one hundred dollar value of their property.

The remodel will take 16 months.

“We're going to have groundbreaking on November 10 after our last home football game,” says Kelly.

“Even though students know they’re not going to be playing one season at the bowl, they know that the memories are still going to be made,” says Rudy Jaramillo, Jacksonville ISD coach. "Being able to continue this tradition is something that I’m sure the entire town is looking forward to."

The last time the Tomato Bowl was upgraded was in 1980 when changes were made to the press box.

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