A big crowd greeted the opening of Jane Sanders Stadium, as the University of Oregon softball team inaugurated the $17.2 million facility with three straight sellouts.
Jane Saunders Stadium opened Thursday as the replacement for Howe Field; the opening series against Stanford ends today.
It certainly stands out in the world of college softball — or college baseball, for that matter — with a distinctive design and lots of amenities. And it includes all the amenities designed to attract top-level athletes, such as a 12,000-square-foot Team Building with lots of bells and whistles. From the Oregonian:
“If you look at the majority of our student-athletes, with the exception of our tennis programs, everybody has an incredible facility,” said Lisa Peterson, Oregon’s senior associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator. “This team has done so well without it that it’s great to be able to give them this. They deserve it.”
The facility includes 1,483 permanent seats, suites, a 12-by-36-foot videoboard that cost $250,000 and a clay infield and artificial turf outfield — one of coach Mike White’s requests. An indoor player development center, located inside the Team Building, is accessible by keycard at all hours for players, who can record their drills and watch back the footage on big-screen TVs. The grandstands are covered by a V-shaped canopy whose underside is detailed in wood cutouts that mimic home plate.
The result fits the “Oregon-esque” mold of eye-catching athletic facilities but, in truth, players’ requests to architects and designers were modest. The 37 permanent restrooms are already a hit for all involved. That’s 35 more than were housed at McArthur Court.
It is still a work in progress: 1,000 bleacher seats are still slated to be installed in the outfield. Bet the Oregon Ducks wish they had those seats this sold-out opening weekend.
Image courtesy University of Oregon, Eric Evans Photography.
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