The new athletic facilities at Texas A&M University’s Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park will be unveiled at the Aggie baseball team’s first game on February 17 against Illinois-Chicago.
The $24-million project, spearheaded by a $7 million pledge from Blue Bell Creameries in nearby Brenham, Texas, has been two years in the making. Blue Bell Park will include traditional and dugout suites and added accommodation seats for fans with special needs. In addition, a new club lounge, additional concessions and restrooms, as well as a children’s playground, are part of the facilities. Players will have a new baseball weight room, hydrotherapy room, training room, bullpens, locker rooms and team lounge. Coaches also will have new offices and a separate locker room.
“Blue Bell Park creates excitement and nostalgia,” said former student and HKS Director of Sports Design Byron Chambers. “It is a major-league-quality facility with a hospitality-grade environment that demonstrates that Texas A&M University is committed to providing student athletes with the best tools available to achieve present and future success, both on and off the field.”
Fans will be closer to the action because designers decreased the distance between home plate and the first seating row. Lawn seating were added along the first- and third-base lines, allowing fans to watch the game from these elevated grassy knolls or take the traditional route of chair seating.
The design team studied and incorporated the rich history not only of Texas A&M but also the history of Aggie baseball. “We looked at old archive photos of the historic campus buildings and their defining traits and details to begin to establish an architectural style,” said Chambers. “The new ballpark is deeply rooted in the fabric of the early 20th century campus architecture. Our goal was to combine the historic character and detailing from the center of campus with the tradition and nostalgia of Aggie baseball.”
Images courtesy of HKS.
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