Marshall University has broken ground on a new baseball stadium near its campus in Huntington, W.Va.
WOWK-TV reports that the $22 million facility will seat 3,500 people.
The baseball team is the only program at the university without their own facility, and for decades they have been playing their home games on the road at places like Charleston and Beckley.
“Marshall baseball has been on the back burner for years, years… too long, way too long," says Rick Reed, a Marshall alum and former major league baseball pitcher. "Now we are making our way from the back burner to the front burner.”
Reed and his family donated $1 million to help pay for the stadium construction.
Mike Hamrick, director of athletics, says one of the reasons it took so long for the baseball team to get its own facility was because it was difficult to find a site close to the campus.
“We finally found the property with the help of the city [Huntington] and the Huntington Municipal Development Authority. We were finally able to purchase the property where we wanted it – close to our campus,” says Hamrick.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Reed estimated the Marshall University’s baseball team has played more than 3,000 home games without a field to call its own.
That endless road trip will end when their new stadium opens 17 months from now in 2021 for the start of the baseball season.
Jeff Waggoner, head baseball coach, believes the facility will help the baseball program recruit players and develop them.
Hamrick said the new stadium is being funded through private donations like Reed's, and they “are currently in the process of fundraising through the Big Green Scholarship Foundation” and are off to a “great start.”
The architect is AECOM.