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Toreros end Cunningham era; new ballpark set for next season

Fowler Park, University of San Diego

The end of an era for the University of San Diego Toreros at Cunningham Stadium, as the team plays its final games there before the place is renovated for the 2013 season.

Renovation is an understatement: pretty much the entire facility will be rebuilt to the tune of $13 million as part of a $30-million overhaul of athletic facilities at USD. The team played its final home game there yesterday, with ballpark namesake John Cunningham throwing out the first pitch. Cunningham is an institution in college baseball: he first coached the Toreros in 1964, when the team didn’t have an on-campus home, and over the years guided the program to respectability and growth. He’s still involved with the program as the play-by-play announced on Toreros games.

The new ballpark was launched with a gift from Ron and Alexis Fowler. The Cunningham name will live on: the new facility will be Cunningham Field at Fowler Park.

Populous created five levels at the ballpark to incorporate necessary programmatic elements — an entry level with plaza space, a suite and press level, the main concourse, the Torero Zone and the team clubhouse. The clubhouse will feature ample space for coaches and student-athletes, a training room, equipment room, player lounge, expanded locker rooms, a display and reception area and added space for batting cages. Additionally, the field itself will be renovated and will feature a new batter’s eye, added field lighting, renovated practice tunnels and a new scoreboard with video capability.

RELATED STORIES: First look at USD’s renovated Fowler Park

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