MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- For more than 100 years fans of Merced High School sports have sat on old wooden bleachers.
But that is about to change.
Merced High is 124 years old. Efforts to get a football stadium started about 20 years ago, and it's finally paying off.
Football coach Rob Scheidt is excited, "Just to put some shovels in the ground and start with phase one is awesome. I think we have a plan to get us at least two-thirds of the way and we've got to find the other third."
The school district and fundraisers have raised $1.7 million, but a sudden $1 million gift from Merced County grower and real estate developer Greg Hostetler means construction can start.
The stadium will be named for his late wife Cathie, who passed away nine years ago.
"She was a great woman, and I couldn't think of anything she'd be more happy about giving in the community and county of Merced," Hostetler said.
There's enough money now for the first phase, a home side of the stadium, a press box and concessions. Another $1 million is needed for the visitors' side stands and artificial turf.
The goal is to be playing in the new Merced High School stadium for the opening game next year.
Merced High School will soon have a new stadium