By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The Thanksgiving Day football game will be played in Winthrop on the new Miller Field.
Those involved with the design, planning and construction of Miller Field are confident the field will be ready for the big game, including possession of the coveted occupancy permit.
“Prior to Nov. 20 it should be ready for inspection,” said Vin Crossman, co-chair of the Miller Field Committee,
Right now the field has its turf, bleachers, a press box and asphalt over the track. Come game day there will no concession stand and only portable potties.
To complicate matters an offer to play at Fenway Park, which had been offered a couple of times in the last year, was on the table. The scheduled time would have been Wednesday, Nov. 22 at either 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. on the busiest travel day of the year.
After listening to those in the packed meeting room and hearing different opinions, including an opposing one from Town Manager/Police Chief Terence Delehanty, the Winthrop School Committee voted to turn down the invitations. Delehanty advised the committee not to use Miller Field until turnover to the town from the contractor occurred due to liability. He also wants to make sure the handicap access is correct. The town will then turnover to the School Department when complete.
Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard said she spoke with Revere Superintendent of Schools Diane Kelley who said Revere can have its stadium ready, with notice, if needed for a Nov. 23 T-Day game.
But those who believe in those who are building Miller Field are counting on the match up in Winthrop.
It’s been two years since the Vikings have had a home game. Revere understands and is proud of its new stadium.
A special Winthrop School Committee was held last Thursday evening to see about the status of the Miller Field and to vote on whether or not the school department should accept the invitation to have the game played at Fenway Park.
The whole town is now trusting the field will be ready, missing a few details but a big game on Thanksgiving.
Vikings coach Sean Driscoll said his team was struggling and delays in the beginning caused the project to take longer, something disputed by Miller Field supporters.
“The project as we know it is on time and on budget,” Crossman said, adding that the contractor Gilbane also believes the field will be ready.