DES MOINES – Des Moines Public Schools and Drake University are holding a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday to kick off the construction of a new stadium and sports facility that both institutions will share.

Plans for the stadium were first announced in 2019 and now construction will begin. The stadium is expected to be finished by fall 2023.

Phil Roeder, the Director of Communications & Public Affairs for DMPS, says that Drake and DMPS have partnered together for over 100 years and this project is another example of the two educational institutions working together to benefit students.

“Once this is built I think people are going to see what a special place this is for student-athletes. What a great expansion of the partnership between DMPS and Drake University this is and really what this means for our kids,” Roeder said. “At the end of the day that’s what matters most for us that’s what matters most for drake and their students.”

The stadium will have 4,000 seats and be used year-round for sports like football, soccer, and rugby. It will also be available for other programming like marching band and middle school athletics.

Some DMPS parents have raised concerns about the stadium’s location as it is farther away from some DMPS high schools, but the project is expected to move forward without any disruptions.