Livingstone hosts Catawba College in Mayor’s Cup game on Saturday

New blue turf field, stadium upgrades to make debut
The new blue turf field will make its debut on Saturday.
The new blue turf field will make its debut on Saturday.(Livingstone College)
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 6:17 AM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Mayor’s Cup, a one time annual event between Salisbury’s Catawba and Livingstone College football teams, will return on Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. at Livingstone.

“As presidents of our community’s two four-year colleges, we’re glad schedules allow our teams to compete once again,” said Catawba College President Dr. David P. Nelson and Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr., in a joint statement. “The presence of our teams on the athletic field is much more than a game. It is a demonstration of our partnership.”

The event will also mark the debut of a new blue turf football field and other improvements at Livingstone. Pre-game festivities, including a stadium ribbon-cutting, will begin at 4:20 p.m.

Livingstone College held a groundbreaking ceremony on Nov. 30 to begin a full remodel of its track and field, converting from a grass to artificial turf painted in Livingstone blue, at a price tag of $2.8M.

NFL Hall of Famer Willie Lanier founded the Willie Lanier HBCU Field of Dreams Program, which is managed by the nonprofit Honey Bear Project. His program collaborates with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to provide financial support to make improvements to their athletic fields.

“Livingstone College is where it all began. What occurred on Livingstone’s front lawn nearly 130 years ago paved the way for people like me,” said Lanier, who played football for Morgan State University, an HBCU in Maryland.

The first intercollegiate black football game was played on Dec. 27, 1892, on the front lawn of Livingstone College between Livingstone and what is today Johnson C. Smith University. That game started a tradition of gridiron, grit and greatness among black student-athletes.

The goal of Lanier’s HBCU Field of Dreams is to raise $50 million over the next three years with minimal to no cost to the 27 participating schools, and to bring HBCUs’ athletic facilities up to a competitive level by providing new turf football fields to programs playing on grass for more than 50 years, and resurfacing existing fields that are outdated and in dire need of repair.

The Mayor’s Cup series took place four times between 2009 and 2013. Catawba leads the series 4-0.