After working 39 years and three months as the Athletic Department’s food service manager, Charles Eubanks just cannot get enough of working around MU sports.
Eubanks, 66, now owns and operates Eubanks Cleaning Service, the company that cleans Memorial Stadium after all home football games; a job that Eubanks said has its game-time advantages amid the mess that is left behind.
“The best part about it is being able to see bits and pieces of the game,” Eubanks said. “I’ve worked around athletes all my life, and I can enjoy sports.”
Eubanks and 40 to 50 crew members keep the stadium clean throughout the game by changing trash bags continuously. Eubanks says his crew uses more than 2,000 trash bags in the process.
But this crew is not the ordinary group of employees for Eubanks Cleaning. The group often consists of members of a school or church organization who help clean the stadium as a fund-raiser. Students from Jamestown High School, for example, worked MU’s most recent home game on Sept. 20.
After each game, Eubanks and crew clean the grandstands, corridors and parking lots until dark and return to work through the next day to get the job done.
“We work until they turn the lights off,” Eubanks says.
Eubanks and crew use blowers, brooms, scoops and lots of rubber gloves and aprons to clean up the food and trash in the grandstands and corridors. Peanut shells are dominant among the debris in the stands, where Eubanks uses his blower to push the debris out of the stands and into heaps of trash.
The crew then hauls the trash from the 300 barrels around the stadium in trucks to nearby trash containers.
So how big can this mess get? The severity, Eubanks says, depends on the game’s time and size and the weather that day.
If the game is late on a nice day, tailgaters will be out in full force, making Eubanks’ job a greater challenge.
“You have to be able to deal with it, no matter what,” Eubanks said.
Though the mess can be overwhelming, Eubanks said MU fans have done very well in keeping things as clean as possible.
“I’ve been to other stadiums, and MU fans are one of the cleanest of all the Big 12 schools,” Eubanks said.
Bob Stanley, director of facilities at the athletic department, said it is Eubanks Cleaning Service’s consistency and reliability that make it a good company for the job. The athletic department contracts with Eubanks Cleaning Service because it cannot keep the amount of people on staff that is needed for a job that is done only six times a year.
Stanley, who has a staff of five workers, said it would be impossible to perform this extensive task alone.
“If I did it, it’d take me a month,” Stanley said.