UConn‘s upcoming baseball facility–set to open in 2020–will be named Elliot Ballpark in honor of Doug Elliot, a graduate and current president of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
Ground has been broken for construction of the new ballpark, a 1,500-seat on-campus facility that will be located across Jim Calhoun Way from J.O. Christian Field,the baseball program’s current home. It has officially been named Elliot Ballpark, as Doug Elliot–a former UConn baseball player and 1982 graduate–and his wife Sheila are providing the lead financial gift for the project.
The name was announced Wednesday, following approval from the UConn Board of Trustees. More from the Hartford Courant:
It will be called “Elliot Ballpark,” as approved by the Board of Trustees. The Elliots, Doug and his wife, Sheila, who met as UConn undergrads, are providing the lead financial gift.
“What was swirling in my mind for the last few years was how to get this [new facility] over the finish line,” Elliot said, in a statement released by UConn on Wednesday. “I’m not sure we realize how fortunate we are that the Husky baseball foundation Andy Baylock and his predecessors built and that Jim Penders has now taken to the next level, is just incredible and has become a well-respected, national program. With the facility limitations Jim has faced, the success of our program is even more amazing. Our players and program have earned the right to have a first-class facility. That’s why, in the end Sheila and I wanted to do what we could do to change that dynamic with our lead financial gift. Husky baseball runs deep inside our family and so the ability to give back a small token of what we have received is a blessing.”
Under Penders, who took over the program in 2004 and is nearing Baylock’s program record for victories, the Huskies have reached the NCAA Tournament in 2010, ’11, ’13, ’16 and ’18, advancing to the Super Regional in 2011. UConn hosted an NCAA Regional Tournament at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, but the lack of an adequate on-campus site is considered a disadvantage for hosting.
Elliott Ballpark will feature an artificial turf surface, along with amenities that include suites and a videoboard. Notably, Elliot Ballpark’s bullpen will be named after former UConn baseball player and current Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes, who donated $50,000 to the project.
Rendering courtesy UConn.