NORTH ATTLEBORO — Varsity high school football games will be played at Community Field this year as there are no longer enough bleachers at the new school field to accommodate large crowds, officials said Monday.
Community Field was the home of Red Rocketeer football until last year when the town built an $1.2 million artificial turf field at the high school, called Ray Beaupre Field.
The football team played one season at the new facility, but the bleachers were determined to be unsafe when they were inspected before graduation last spring.
Inspectors said supports were badly rusted and the flooring was unstable.
Graduation was moved to Community Field and now football is being moved there, too.
Principal Peter Haviland and athletic director Kurt Kummer said the school administration and the town have not yet determined whether it would be better to repair the old bleachers or buy new ones.
“There’s been no decision yet,” Haviland said.
Kummer said he has gotten estimates on repair costs in years past, but they are no longer up to date.
In the meantime, small sets of bleachers from other fields will be moved to the high school football stadium so junior varsity football, field hockey and soccer can still be played there.
Those sports tend to attract smaller crowds than varsity football.
“We’re still getting plenty of use out of it,” Kummer said of the artificial turf.
Kummer said the smaller sets of bleachers can seat about 350 people, but are too small to handle varsity football crowds.
The varsity football team is scheduled to scrimmage Marshfield at Community Field Aug. 28 and the first official home game for the 2019 season will be Sept. 27 against Foxboro High.
Kummer and Haviland said if heavy rain is scheduled for a game day, the game could be moved to the artificial turf at the high school, but fans would not have a lot of seating.