With final preparations underway for the opening of Georgia State Stadium on Aug. 31, GeorgiaStateSports.com will go behind the scenes all week and look at some of the folks and departments throughout the campus that made it possible. This is the first part of a six-part series.

Facilities and Operations

Those who can do the dirty work and are behind the scenes are often the ones who can get overlooked the most. However, without the help of Patrick Hatcher, Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations, and his tireless crew, there would basically have been no chance of Georgia State Stadium opening on time, not looking as beautiful as it does.

Since well before Georgia State University took ownership of the property, Hatcher and his crew were developing plans on how a massive undertaking could be completed basically in six months. Not only did his staff oversee the transformation from a baseball stadium to a football field, but also did a great deal of the manual labor themselves.

A lot of those projects were large, but it was also the little things that can often be overlooked that our fans will enjoy the most.

“We really wanted to make sure that the conversion from Turner Field to Georgia State Stadium was complete,” Hatcher said. “We wanted our new home to feel like ours, which meant a lot of extra paint, pulling down old signage and getting creative on certain things. However, none of it could have been pulled off without my incredible crew. They have given everything they have and never complained once. This place looks great because of them.”

Along with Hatcher, Nick Buchs, Scott Sarratt, Nick Starling and Dillon Duval led the charge to make sure the stadium was ready for opening night.

“Georgia State Stadium doesn’t open on time without the amazing work put in by Patrick, Nick, Scott, and Turbo (Nick Starling),” Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb said.” No one wants to count the hours they put into this place. Some say you learn the character of people by putting a golf club in their hand. I think it’s when you ask them to do manual labor. Not only did these guys put in the time, but they also poured out their souls. I believe in leading by example and no group epitomizes this more than these guys.”

There truly is not a part of Georgia State Stadium that this group has not touched or painted or cleaned. And there is probably no other group that Georgia State fans should thank more, however, Hatcher and his crew would much rather just stay behind the scenes and let the fans enjoy an incredible experience on opening night.

“For all of the hard work and overtime we put in, I have such a great crew and honestly, I think we had fun it with,” Hatcher said. “When this place is packed on opening night, that will be all the thanks we need.”