The Final Countdown

An Update on Abessinio Stadium


Liam Furlong

A proud Salesianum senior takes a tour of the upcoming Abessinio Stadium.

Declan Landis, Reporting Journalist

Normally, waiting on something for 38 days is a long time. Patience grows thin, stress levels rise, and anticipation becomes massive. However, when you’ve been waiting for a new stadium for nearly three years, 38 days feels like a few minutes. That feeling is what the Salesianum community is experiencing right now as the November 13th deadline approaches for the completion of Abessinio Stadium, the state-of-the-art facility located on the site of the storied Baynard Stadium.

Abessinio Stadium, named after the primary donor and esteemed alumnus Rocco Abessinio, will be the home of most Salesianum sports, including soccer, football, lacrosse, and track and field, as well as other schools’ sports teams. The stadium will also be used for gym classes, intramural sports, and other Salesianum events, especially in a world where social distancing is necessary.

The stadium houses a beautiful turf field, one of three video scoreboards in the state, a luxury suite, box seats, a TV studio, and a track certified as an NCAA competition-level surface. Even little details like a rooftop porch above the student section and a sitting wall with a good view of the field have been worked on carefully and craftily, and these small details are what will make Abessinio Stadium one of, if not, the best complexes in the state.

The stadium will also feature certain amenities. ATI Physical Therapy is opening a clinic on the grounds of the stadium that will not only be used by the teams but will also be open to the public. The Delaware State Parks and Recreation Department will also have an onsite location in order to preserve the grounds and help maintain functioning on a daily basis. Concessions stands will, of course, be present and a school store location will be opened as well.

Joey Montooth ‘21, a member of the Varsity football team, summarizes the excitement for the stadium well, saying, “Being able to come back to the stadium many years from now and saying I was part of the first team to play on that field is something I will always be grateful for.”

Right now, the stadium is facing some obstacles in the finalizing process, as Salesianum President Mr. Kennealey points out. “It looks like we will be able to play there [by November 13th], but there will likely be things that aren’t quite done yet. Weather is always a factor, and if we have rain it will delay things. The biggest issue right now is the new entry point, which is where the concession stand was in the old stadium. The building requires a lot of masonry, and everyone has been working a lot of hours to finish this project.”

Overall, the stadium will be an exciting access point for so many opportunities in the near future, not just for Salesianum but for the Wilmington community. When talking about those opportunities, Mr. Kennealey said, “I’m excited for the stadium; it’s great for the school. It has the look and feel of Salesianum, everything about it. The stadium was also built to show how Salesianum is involved with our community, to assist in providing a great venue for our city to use. One of the reasons we did this was to show how getting involved in this great community can make a difference and help everyone within it.”

The new Abessinio Stadium will break barriers not only in the Delaware sporting world but also in the entire Wilmington community. In addition to providing a state-of-the-art facility for Salesianum to utilize, the possibilities the stadium will create to make a positive difference are endless. Abessinio Stadium will allow so many people within the Salesianum community to “be the light,” and with the opening just around the corner, the anticipation of what to come is at an all-time high.