Scheumann Stadium Renovation Near Completion

Ball State is set to get the keys to its newly renovated John & June Scheumann Stadium in just a few weeks. Read on to see some history on the stadium, key points of the renovation and what players and recruits think about what they see when they come to Muncie, Indiana.

Ball State's football stadium was built along a stretch of Tillotson Ave. and McGalliard Rd. in 1967 and paved the way for the Cardinals cross-campus move from a much smaller venue that lay along University Ave on the campus' South side. The stadium remained known as Ball State Stadium until last year, when renovation plans were announced and, thanks to some healthy donations over the years, was named John & June Scheumann. Officially, Scheumann Stadium was born, but the shape of what is to be unveiled on August 28 during a formal reception, was just beginning.

A fundraising drive was launched during the last football season and plans to renovate the stadium were announced. The initial goal was to raise $12-million, but generosity poured in as alumni and local business people showered Ball State to the tune $13.6-million.

Construction began on the new Scheumann Stadium almost the day the 2006 season ended. Construction crews began tearing down the old restroom, concession stands and press box, all of which will be replaced by new, updated and larger facilities.

At first sight when driving up to Scheumann Stadium is the additional size of the new "state of the art" Paul & Patricia Kozel Communications Center. The new press box, which is three levels high, includes corporate suites and club seating along with press and coaches' boxes.

Probably the most important renovation made was Ball State's decision to change its playing surface from natural grass to new field turf. This area is probably the greatest area of improvement from the perspective of the maintenance and coaching staff as it is an easier surface to play on and does not wear down during the course of a season, like natural grass.

"The kids absolutely love it," Ball State head coach Brady Hoke stated. "It's a much faster surface than grass and it is a lot softer than the old artificial turf."

Ball State surely did not skimp on the field surface installation either. After bids where complied, the university chose quality installers over price. Opting to have the turf installed by Field Turf USA, Inc. a company that not only specializes in the laying of Field Turf, but also has laid said turf in many NFL stadiums (New England, Indianapolis, Tennessee, etc.), Canadian Football League Stadiums and College stadiums (Ohio State, Virginia, Florida, Purdue, etc.).

Stay tuned to part 2 of the Scheumann Stadium story tomorrow.

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