One of Colorado Springs’ oldest football stadiums finally has a name of its own.
Academy District 20 Stadium will be synonymous with one of the longest-serving superintendents in the state. Starting this season, the facility’s field will be known as Hatchell Field at Academy 20 District Stadium.
It honors Mark Hatchell, who retired this past June after 12 years as the district’s superintendent.
The board of education surprised Hatchell with a framed rendering of the field’s new name at his retirement ceremony in May, a month before the name change became official, said Allison Cortez, a D-20 schools spokeswoman.
Better known as D-20 Stadium, the facility is home to the district schools Discovery Canyon, Liberty, Pine Creek and Rampart and serves as a place to compete in football, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and track and field.
“It’s going to take some time getting used to,” Liberty athletic director Michael Sibley said. “I think a lot of people will keep calling it D-20.”
The nearly 4,000-capacity stadium is in its second home. The original was on the Air Academy campus, which was shared by Air Academy, Liberty and Rampart.
The current location was constructed on the Liberty campus in 1991.
Air Academy held sporting events at D-20 Stadium last year while the school’s own stadium — known as K-Dome — was under renovations.
Unlike many other stadiums and fields across the Pikes Peak region, D-20 Stadium is known for its unspecific name. And for some, that’s the way it should be. Then-Liberty AD Jim Chapman told The Gazette in 2004 that “my thought is that it should be as generic as possible.”
Sibley called the facility “the marquee stadium” for district schools, adding that honoring Hatchell is a nice touch to stadium.
Cortez, the D-20 spokeswoman, said the stadium will see some improvements in the near future, including to the turf field, concession stands and locker rooms. Those changes come after a bond passage was approved in 2016.
“We are also hoping, depending on costs, to make improvements to the Pine Creek High School field,” Cortez added in an email, “so it will have more of a stadium environment and can hold, smaller-scale athletics events.”
Hatchell could not be reached to comment.