NEW ORLEANS -- Tulane Athletics is set to begin a significant renovation and upgrade of Turchin Stadium, home of the nationally-ranked Green Wave baseball program since 1991, which will enhance the fan experience and provide an updated home for one of the Green Wave's most popular and successful programs, Athletic Director Rick Dickson announced Thursday.
The stadium will receive a new look inside and out as nearly all of the seating areas will be new while the addition of private suites, a covered club seating area and a new press box highlight the additions to the facility. Updated netting and sound systems and new concession stands and restrooms will all contribute to a higher level of service and enjoyment for Tulane fans. The project does not affect the current field surface and lighting or the Theresa Sofio Hitting Facility.
"This project represents a significant step forward for our baseball program," Dickson said. "Rick Jones and his staff have built one of the elite programs in the nation, and the fans have responded with tremendous support. Turchin Stadium is already a fantastic place to play a game. With this renovation, it will become a fantastic place to watch a game."
Construction on the project will begin upon completion of the 2005 baseball season and is scheduled for completion in February 2006. All of the seats in the current grandstand will be replaced, with more chairback seating areas installed down the left and right field lines. The capacity will increase to 4,200 with the ability to add 600 more seats on the right field side. The outside of the stadium will receive a new look as an attractive façade will surround the entire seating area extending down the lines, the entranceway will be remodeled with an open plaza area where fans can gather and a Memorial Walkway will enable fans to become a part of the stadium and of Tulane's Athletic success story by purchasing special inscribed bricks.
"The impact of this facility is far-reaching," said Tulane head baseball coach Rick Jones, whose team was ranked No. 1 through most of the 2005 season and enters NCAA Regional play Friday as the No. 1 national seed. "The amenities and sight lines will provide our fans with a first-class experience when they come to the ballpark. From a recruiting standpoint, it gives us an opportunity to keep pace with what is out there and continue to attract the highest quality student-athletes."
"I'm excited to get the new stadium underway," Jones continued. "It speaks to the growth of the program, and to the growth of our fan base over the last 10 years. Upgrading our facility is the next step and I think it will have an impact on our future success, and even more of an impact on our fans' enjoyment of the games."
The club seating area behind home plate will be covered and will include access to an open air breezeway at the top of those sections. Four private suites will flank the breezeway on the first base line and will include air conditioning and private restroom facilities. Suites will be sold on multi-year leases and will be accessible via elevator, which will also provide access to the press box. For the first time, the press box will include individual broadcast booths and Ethernet capability, as well as an expanded space for the print media.
Fans will enjoy not only a better sound system, but an upgrade in the quality and quantity of restroom facilities and food service areas, especially down the lines. An expanded merchandise sales and marketing area will provide the best in customer service.
The "Fan Plaza" extending from the doors of the Wilson Center to the gates of Turchin Stadium provides an ideal pre-game gathering and entertainment spot. The plaza will include opportunities for fans to become a part in the new stadium through purchase of a brick which will leave a lasting legacy. To accomplish this, the "point" on the front of the Wilson Center will be removed to promote a more open entranceway.
"We believe this stadium is an important step in the development of our athletics footprint," Dickson said. "As with all construction projects, the exact schedule, as well as design details, are subject to change, but we anticipate completion by opening day 2006."
Funds for the new stadium are being raised through the Perpetual Wave Campaign, Tulane Athletics' five-year plan to provide a long-term financial base for Green Wave Athletics.
Sizeler Architects of New Orleans, in consultation with nationally renowned stadium firm HOK, has designed the new Turchin Stadium. The builder is Landis LLC of New Orleans.
Turchin Stadium To Undergo Major Renovation
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