The University of Florida has announced that it will be pushing back work on its US$65m baseball stadium with a new completion date that will see the Gators play their first season in 2021, as opposed to 2020 as originally planned.
Despite the revised schedule, which means breaking ground in February 2019, the good news is that the University Athletic Association board approved the project’s budget on December 12, to effectively green light the project pending any setbacks with the university’s board of trustees.
“This is an exciting day for Gators Baseball and our entire athletic department,” said athletic director Scott Stricklin. “While our original hope was to have the ballpark available at the beginning of 2020, and therefore available for play that season, this period of rising construction prices has required additional time to finalize the design, and has caused us to adjust our timeline by a few months.”
The baseball park, which has been designed by Populous in partnership with Walker Architects, is planned to be located on the southwest area of the UoF campus adjacent to Disney Stadium.
It will feature a 360° concourse to provide full field views and shade for fans, modern student-athlete and staff amenities, multiple seating and game experience options, high-definition video and sound, enhanced concession space and food options, and prominent entry gates.
Fans will also be able to choose from premium seating and non-traditional seating to bring overall capacity to a potential 10,000. Student athletes will have a private nutrition area/team lounge, film/team meeting room, expanded locker room, indoor pitching and batting cages, and enhanced training and rehabilitation areas, while the staff will have individual office space for all coaches and a lobby/reception area.
“You get one chance to build these types of facilities that will change the landscape of a program for generations to come. It’s exciting to think of the impact the new ballpark will have on future Gators players, coaches and fans.”