December 7, 2019
By Fred Liggett
On Saturday, November 23rd the Raytown Blue Jays football team took the field to host a playoff game against the Staley Falcons. The Blue Jays, won a District championship, but would see their season come to an end that afternoon in a 30-14 loss. For some students and alumni it was the final game of a successful season for the team led by coach Logan Minnick. For other fans, faculty and Raytown residents it was one last look at the current Ted Chittwood Stadium.
During the off season for fall sports the long-time stadium will be the site of construction equipment as the facility undergoes a renovation costing the school district $1,940,000. The goal for the school is to be done with the stadium project by the end of summer 2020.
Raytown voters passed a $53 million bond issue back on April 2nd of this year. Every school in the district is getting some improvement work done. Raytown HS will be gaining a new press box, bleachers and other improvements to its football stadium and track. Renovation plans include locker room upgrades and ADA access.
While these stadium upgrades have been in the works for over six months, the actual work won’t begin for at least two more weeks. Patricia Hutton, Raytown High School Activities and Athletic Director says, “The time is needed for staff to get stuff out.” Stuff is items like track, football and band items that are stored at the stadium currently. Hutton adds, “There are storage containers that need to be moved out of there.”
When the actual work is being done at the stadium, Hutton and other staff members will be working hard to ensure springs sports can go on without any issues. During the spring season access to the track and the field for girls soccer will be limited. For instance the visitors bleachers will be used for events that Raytown will host.
The 2020 football season will see the Blue Jays football team defend their district championship at a much different looking stadium. One thing that won’t be changing though is the name, as Ted Chittwood will remain the name of the facility. Chittwood was Raytown head football coach from 1947-81. While at the school Chittwood also coached other sports and served for a time as athletic director. The stadium’s history includes being one of the first in the Kansas City metro area to seat over 5,000 spectators and have a double decker press box.
The 2019 season may have given Raytown Blue Jays fans many fond memories but next year whether they win or lose the fans will enjoy cheering on their favorite football team while sitting in a much improved stadium.