With an eye towards the future, the Ole Miss Rebels have revealed plans for a multi-phased, $13 million overhaul to Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
There has been a rise in new facilities around college baseball, and the SEC has been the hub of much of this activity. Ole Miss had revealed plans for a renovation earlier this year, but thanks to a generous contribution from Ed and Jan Trehern, the project is moving forward. Ole Miss has selected Cookie Douglass Farr Lemons Architects (CDFL Sports) to design the renovations, as the firm has worked on other Ole Miss facilities in the past.
“Once again, we are happy to partner with CDFL Sports to complete another expansion and renovation project within our athletics complex,” said Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork in a press statement. “CDFL has done tremendous work at Ole Miss and has helped make our athletic facilities among the best in the country. We are excited with the plans they have in place for the new baseball performance center and upgrades to Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.”
The project will be thorough in scope, overhauling aspects of the ballpark that relate to both the fan and player experience. Highlighting the player amenities is a new performance center that will be equipped with a clubhouse, as well as state-of-the art training space and a new player lounge.
Th performance center will be constructed on the first base side of the ballpark. Once it is complete, the dugouts will be switched so that the Rebels can occupy the first base dugout.
“The Trehern family and its foundation are very excited to be a part of this new era of facilities for Ole Miss Baseball,” said Ed Trehern in a statement. “Ole Miss has become a national pacesetter for facilities and crowds in baseball. The baseball facilities are very good now, but it is time to go to the next level because the competition is not sitting quietly. Baseball has become one of the trademarks for Ole Miss Athletics. We hope our gift will encourage others to support and give what you can to keep Ole Miss at the top.”
For the fans, the performance center will bring about one striking change. The roof of the building will be the home of a rooftop plaza that is open to baseball letterwinners and M-Club members. In addition, fans will be able to purchase season tickets for the plaza.
Within the seating bowl, there will be several changes to add new premium and group spaces. One of the more notable additions will be the first base dugout club, a 330-seat space that will put fans close to the action. Another component of that project is the addition of four rows of seating behind home plate.
Further work will be completed on existing amenities, with the left field terrace slated for upgrades, as well as an improved and relocated kid’s area. The box seats down the left field line will also be extended to accommodate more fans. Ole Miss currently projects that the renovations will increase the ballpark’s capacity from 10,323 to 10,715 seats.
“Some great people/players have been involved with Ole Miss Baseball such as our great friend Don Kessinger. Coach Bianco has done and continues to do a great job, and many coaches use Ole Miss as the model program,” added Trehern. “One of our daughters was a Diamond Girl, and we have been very close to the program for a number of years. We are blessed to be able to make another investment in the program and facilities here at Ole Miss. We know we are recruiting the best players in the country and to win these battles we cannot come up short as it relates to facilities.”
While the university is still seeking donations, the current timeline calls for both phases of the renovation to be complete by the start of the 2018 season. More renderings are available here.
Rendering of new clubhouse courtesy of Ole Miss baseball.