April 5, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The final piece of the Mackey Complex project got closer to the finish line today as the Purdue Board of Trustees approved construction of a new softball stadium.
The athletics department now will begin the process of soliciting bids for the $13-million project, with the hopes of breaking ground later this year. The stadium is expected to be completed for the 2015 season.
The new facility, which will be located adjacent to Alexander Field and the Boilermaker Soccer Complex near the intersection of Cherry Lane and McCormick Road, was part of the Mackey Complex master plan approved by the trustees in May 2007 and designed to address the athletics department's facility deficiencies. The cost includes related site work and infrastructure.
"A new softball stadium completes a 20-year journey where we now will have contemporary facilities for all our programs that will enable our student-athletes and coaches to compete for championships on a consistent basis," athletics director Morgan Burke said. "The next step will be maintaining the existing facilities and ensuring they remain contemporary as they age."
The softball facility will be built in traditional Purdue style with brick and masonry exterior facades and a concrete spectator area with a combination of bench and chairback seats. Seating capacity will be 1,000, with the ability to expand in the future.
Both the home and visiting dugouts will be heated, and both teams will have dedicated bullpens and batting cages. The Boilermakers' home dugout will be located along the third-base line and adjacent to a new clubhouse that will feature a locker room, lounge, team meeting area and athletic training treatment area. The clubhouse will be attached to an enclosed and heated training facility that will allow for offseason batting and pitching workouts.
A new press box will include media seating, radio and television announce booths, and a game-day operations area. Television-quality lights will allow for night games to be televised.
Restrooms and concession stands will enhance the fan experience.
"Everyone associated with Purdue softball is appreciative that the Board of Trustees has given its approval to move forward with the new facility," head coach Kim Maher said. "We are excited about the prospects of joining baseball, cross country, soccer and tennis at our new location.
"Based on the renderings that have been developed, there is no doubt that this new facility will make our university, our alumni and fans, and the entire community very proud."
The softball program presently plays its home games at the Boilermaker Softball Complex, which was constructed along Stadium Avenue in 1994-95, in conjunction with softball becoming an intercollegiate sport at Purdue. The Boilermaker Softball Complex has limited amenities, including no permanent restrooms and, since being built, its footprint has seen the nearby construction of an electrical substation and a parking lot for the recently renovated Córdova Recreational Sports Center.
"The new stadium will rival any across the country with features that will benefit not only our student-athletes and coaches but our fan base, as well," said assistant athletics director Calvin Williams, who oversees the softball program at Purdue. "It will clearly demonstrate our commitment to the softball program."
The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, which is self-supporting and receives no tax dollars or university funding, is paying for the projects with income generated through Big Ten Conference television agreements, gifts and other department funds.