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Stadium project at Wiley Magnet Middle and Reynolds High Schools is underway

Home Field Advantage, the nonprofit raising a majority of funding for the project, anticipates the first games at M. Douglas Crater Field and Stadium will be played in fall 2024.


Once complete, the field and stadium will serve 2,500 students at two schools.

Photo courtesy of Home Field Advantage

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A stadium that will allow students at RJ Reynolds High School and Wiley Magnet Middle School to finally practice + play at home is becoming a reality. Let’s take a look at the project that’s been more than a decade in the making.

The need

Student-athletes at the schools along Hawthorne Road and Northwest Boulevard have had to travel around the district to use facilities to practice and play. Parents like Stan Dean noticed the hardship that created for players, families, and fans.

“It puts a burden on the players, on the coaches, to make sure the kids can participate,” Dean said. “And then you have things like, when they’re practicing off-site, they don’t have a locker room and they’re changing for practice in their cars.”

Forsyth County Commissioners denied a request for a school bond referendum to pay for a facility at Reynolds in 2012. That’s when Dean and other parents, alumni, and supporters formed Home Field Advantage (HFA). The nonprofit entered into a public-private partnership with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. It agreed to raise private money to fund the majority of a stadium — a project estimated to cost $10 million. HFA also fully funded the practice field on Reynolda Road that teams began using in 2015.


The field is adjacent to Hanes Park.

Rendering provided by Home Field Advantage

The project

In 2018, the school board approved construction plans for the stadium to be built on school property between Wiley Middle and the Reynolds Auxiliary Gym. Four years later, it approved dedicating $2.1 million to the project and naming the stadium after longtime Reynolds coach Doug Crater. A groundbreaking for the M. Douglas Crater Field and Stadium was held on March 2, 2022.

Construction for the stadium will be completed over four phases, the first of which is already complete. Dean, who serves as the spokesperson for HFA, says the project is currently between Phases Two and Three — many details of those phases like grading, stormwater retention, and bleachers + lights are being done concurrently. The field will be ready for practice once that work is done, which HFA anticipates being in the spring of 2024. Concessions and bathrooms must be built before games can be played. If construction stays on track, the first games will be played in the fall.


Concrete has been poured for retaining walls and bleacher supports.

Photo provided by Home Field Advantage

While a previous school board committed to funding the field site, grading, retaining structures, lighting, and goalposts — it was determined the original $2.1 million commitment wasn’t enough to cover those obligations. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, current school board members voted 5-3 to spend an additional $1.3 million on the project. The money will come from the district’s savings.

Phase Four of the project consists of building a press box and entrance to match the schools. HFA is still raising money for that phase.

The impact

Sports teams from both schools, including boys’ and girls’ soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and football will use the property. Dean says it will impact students participating in other extracurricular activities as well.

“The band will be able to practice on a flat surface. Right now they practice in the parking lot,” Dean said. “ROTC will do their formations there. Right now they get on a bus and go to Deaton-Thompson [Stadium].”

The stadium will belong to the school district, which will be in charge of maintenance and overseeing facility operations.