The newly renovated ‘Backyard’ fields at Key West High School will host the Conchs’ home football games until Tommy Roberts Memorial Stadium is replaced over the next two years. MATT GOOD/

For the first time in recent memory, Key West High School Conchs will play their home football games someplace other than Tommy Roberts Memorial Stadium.

The stadium on Kennedy Drive is slated for a complete $15 million upgrade in the next two years. In the meantime, the fields at Tommy Roberts remain open and will be used for baseball and other activities, but the bleachers have long needed significant improvements or replacement and cannot be used for spectators.

The football bleachers at Tommy Roberts Memorial Stadium, home of the Key West High School Conchs, cannot be used this season. Football games will be played in the newly renovated ‘Backyard’ behind the high school. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

One source with close ties to the high school told the Keys Weekly “the bleachers are condemned. That’s why graduation was held at the amphitheater this past spring,” but school district officials stopped short of using the word “condemned.”“The bleachers on the football side have capacity restrictions since further investments in maintenance and repair were ceased in light of the pending renovation project, which is scheduled to break ground at the end of this spring’s athletic season,” said Pat Lefere, the school district’s executive director of operations and planning. “The complex will continue to be used until that time for baseball and other activities as required. Football games will be held in the newly renovated Backyard field for both the 2021 and 2022 seasons.”

The Key West High School football team, seen here in 2019 at Tommy Roberts Memorial Stadium, will play its 2021 and 2022 seasons in the Backyard at Key West High School while the stadium is replaced. BARRY GAUKEL/
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.