Thanks to the Credit for Kids tax program, there is a chance Longhorn fans could be sitting in new stands by the end of the football season.
Only a day after the Payson school board approved the $128,598.37 purchase of the bleachers July 12, warehouse supervisor Sherman Ralston was ordering them from Norcom Industries in Tempe.
Norcom told Ralston that the stands will be delivered in about 90 days. As soon as they arrive, he said, installation will begin on the north side of the field that is now the visitor's stands.
With the new bleachers, the south will become the visitor's side.
Norcom Industries, Sherman said, is the firm that helped build and install the seating in Bank One Ballpark.
Sherman projects the installation of the Longhorn bleachers will require some excavation and then a leveling and compressing of the area.
"The actual stands will be on skids," he said.
The bleachers will have 15 rows and seat 900 fans. Additional seating can be added in the future. PHS athletic director Dave Bradley hopes to some day seat about 2,000 fans.
The new stands also will be fitted with a press box that has an area on top that will be an ideal site to film games, Sherman said.
Longhorn football coach Jerry Rhoades would have the option of placing one, or more, of his assistants there to help in scouting and play calling.
The stands, Rhoades said, "have been a long time coming, but now there should not be a bad seat in the house."
Rhoades thanked the taxpayers who made the purchase possible by participating in Credit for Kids.
When contributing to Credit for Kids, taxpayers have the option of earmarking where they want their money to be spent. Last year, taxpayers contributed more than $190,000 to the program.
"That money is a huge part of what we do," Bradley said.
Adequate seating at PHS football games has long been an issue. Last season, the stands filled quickly and fans scurried to find good vantage points. Some watched from the pathway on the north side of Wilson Dome above the existing stands. Others brought their own folding chairs and watched from behind the end zone.
"Some (fans) probably didn't go to the games because there was not much chance of finding a good seat," Bradley said.
The AD anticipates the new stands will attract more fans and in turn increase gate receipts. At some games last season, receipts exceeded $2,000.
The football income, Bradley said, is extremely important in the school athletic budget because it is used to fund other non-revenue producing sports.