View Of First Gem Of Renovated Sewell-Thomas

Alabama Athletics Director Bill Battle has been keeping a close eye on Sewell-Thomas Stadium as it undergoes simultaneous destruction -- "which seems to be going faster" -- and construction. Wednesday he was able to unveil the first gem of what will be what is promised to be a magnificent setting as the Crimson Tide baseball diamond and stadium.

The Alabama baseball team officially opened the team’s hitting facility on Wednesday afternoon. The brand-new structure provides the team with an indoor training area that allows for year-round preparation for current and former players.

Battle extolled the amenities of the building and said that it is an example of what the entire finished product will be like when the Sewell-Thomas renovation is completed prior to the 2016 season.

And, Battle confessed, as he listens to the construction process, he can hear, "Omaha! Omaha!" the annual site of the College World Series.

A few notes on the building’s features:

• Four retractable, 20-foot high hitting bays, which allow the field space to serve multiple purposes including training focused on hitting, pitching or fielding

LED lighting for training at any hour

• Fully air conditioned building to manage indoor temperatures regardless of outside conditions

• State-of-the-art sound system that is wired throughout the complex

•Video analysis capabilities

• Weight room and fitness area that features free weights and benches for pre-practice workouts

The hitting facility is the first step of Alabama baseball’s structural transformation. The current renovation of Sewell-Thomas Stadium is an on-going project that is scheduled for completion and use at the start of the 2016 Alabama baseball season.

The Crimson Tide will make the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium home for a majority of the team’s home games in 2015. Alabama will kick off regular-season play on Friday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. CST as the Tide hosts the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for a three-game, weekend series inside the Met.

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