From an East Coast Classic press release: On Aug. 2, the East Coast Classic will relocate to a new home, Veterans Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Mass. The 2006 edition of the event will be the inaugural event held in the stadium after the completion of a two-year, $6.5 million rehabilitation project. Dan Greer, Boston Crusaders' board president, announced that the new home for the East Coast Classic will allow the show to return to its traditional locale, just north of Boston, and provide fans with an opportunity to witness the spectacle of drum corps in a truly first-class facility. The East Coast Classic, now in its 18th year, has earned the reputation as one of New England's premiere drum corps show. For 16 years it was held in Lynn, at the Manning Bowl, which was demolished last year. "Fans will be amazed at the quality of the newly renovated stadium," said Greer. "The city has welcomed us as the first major event to take place in the new stadium. We know that the participating corps and our audience will all appreciate the combination of easy highway access, great seating, and a clean, brand new stadium." Local observers may know that the historic structure, like Manning Bowl, was originally built in the 1930s. It had also fallen into complete disrepair and was on the verge of being town down. However, in 2003 the Lawrence City Council authorized a bond issue that included funding to fully renovate the stadium. The facility now sports a synthetic field, brand new seating, lighting, bathrooms, press box and food concession areas, as well as a complete overhaul of the concrete stadium. The project is adjacent to the separate state-funded $110 million new Lawrence High School project which is still in the process of being completed. The stadium is located just a quarter mile from exit 42 off of Route 495, just 15 miles from the intersection of Interstates 93 and 95. A laser-cut wrought iron gate about seven-and-a-half feet tall at the entrance is detailed to resemble a waving American flag, said project architect Michael Teller, a principal of CBI Consulting Inc. of South Boston. Inside, eight new granite monuments, each about eight feet tall, memorialize soldiers and sailors, from all five military services, with seating areas and rows of trees and shrubs around them, he said. Visit www.crusaders.com for more information.
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