New Name, New Turf for Local Douglas County Stadiums

PARKER, CO – There will be a different name this fall adorning the high school sports stadium in Parker. Meanwhile, the installation of new playing surfaces at ThunderRidge High School and Shea Stadium is scheduled to be complete by Aug. 11.

EchoPark has signed a sponsorship agreement for the stadium at 11901 Newlin Gulch Blvd.

The stadium opened in 2009 and Stadium was the original name. Sports Authority agreed to a three-year sponsorship agreement in 2010, and EchoPark – an automotive dealership with locations in Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Littleton and Thornton – now has the naming rights.

“We did a five-year agreement with EchoPark,” said Douglas County District Athletic Director Derek Chaney. “They will have the naming rights and the partnership we’ve done with them.”

Some of the money from the selling of the stadium naming rights will be used for repairs at EchoPark Automotive Stadium. Under the five-year deal, EchoPark will pay the school district $100,000 per year, with 25 percent of that money going to an agency that helped the district secure the partnership, according to a school district spokesman.

EchoPark has additional plans.

“They are going to do a distracted driving event for our students in the parking lot,” Chaney said. “Of course, that will give them exposure. In our big football games this fall, you’ll see a couple cars out there from EchoPark that will be displayed. They also will offer some scholarships to our seniors. There will be 12, $1,000 scholarships. It’s a partnership.”

In Highlands Ranch, new turf is being installed at Shea Stadium, another district stadium located at 3270 Redstone Park Circle.

The school district paid for the new artificial turf at ThunderRidge, also in Highlands Ranch, and split the cost with the Highlands Ranch Metro District for the project at Shea. Total cost of the resurfacing for ThunderRidge and Shea is $676,000.

There have been some problems with the rubber underlay that had to be remedied before the installation of the Ultrablade turf could be completed at both ThunderRidge and Shea Stadium. The project is being done by SPRINTURF, which according to its website, has done “more than 1,000 turf installations in leading sports programs, colleges, universities and professional athletic teams across North America and abroad.”

“The black pad was sticking to the turf,” said SPRINTURF project manager Peter Oksanen. “We’re trying to preserve as much of that pad as possible so we can reuse it. We’re making up time.”

EchoPark Automotive Stadium is the home site for many of the football, soccer and lacrosse games, as well as other athletic contests, played by Parker high school teams. Shea Stadium serves that purpose for Highlands Ranch schools.

ThunderRidge’s field is mainly for practice, but it also is the site of some soccer and lacrosse games.