Binghamton University has landed an anonymous $60 million donation toward the construction of a new baseball complex, a project announced Tuesday with a planned 2021 completion.
As part of the project, new seating and clubhouses will be constructed around the existing baseball field, along with a new indoor training facility. Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
“This gift will help put Binghamton University into the upper echelons of Division I schools,” said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. “This unprecedented gift perfectly matches donor passion and the strategic needs for the campus, and it is my hope that it will inspire others to give back to the area of campus that they are most passionate about. This is an exciting time for Binghamton University, and we are extraordinarily grateful for the generosity of our anonymous donor family.”
“This generous and historic donation will provide the Binghamton University baseball team with a world-class facility for our student-athletes,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “As a former Division I athlete, I know that the lessons sports teach — team work, discipline and collaboration toward a common goal — are invaluable life lessons that will be supported by this gift. This facility will also expand SUNY’s regional and national reach and exposure, inspire others to give back to further our academic and athletic excellence, and build on the tremendous level of community spirit within the Binghamton University community.”
“The Binghamton University Foundation is a proud partner in helping to facilitate this transformational gift,” said Sheldon Goldfarb ’73, chair of the Binghamton University Foundation Board of Directors.
Fawley Bryant Architecture, a commercial architecture firm with two locations in Florida, is the designing architect for the baseball facility upgrades. The firm’s portfolio spans from multimillion-dollar sports stadiums to commercial and hospitality complexes and includes work on the Atlanta Braves spring training complex, IMG Academy Fieldhouse and the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.
This fully funded donor project will build an 84,000 square-foot facility to support the baseball team that will include a new grandstand, clubhouse and indoor training facility. It will consist of increased fan seating, locker rooms, batting cages, coaches’ offices, study spaces and an athletic training room. In addition, the facility will meet NCAA requirements for hosting post-season tournament play. The indoor training facility will include a turf baseball infield with a four-story ceiling, providing athletes the ability to practice year-round.
“The new baseball complex will be a one-of-a-kind facility in this region and will be better than most Division I programs across the country. It will rival the outstanding facilities of many programs that compete in Power 5 conferences,” said head coach Tim Sinicki, a six-time America East Coach of the Year who is heading into his 28th season coaching at Binghamton — the 10th-longest current tenure of any NCAA Division I coach in the nation. “Our goal will be to utilize this new complex to continue to recruit the highest-caliber student-athletes, develop their baseball skills in these new cutting-edge facilities and provide them an experience they will carry with them long after they graduate from Binghamton.”
The project reflects an aggressive construction timeline; construction will begin within the next few weeks, letting the team play in their new home stadium next year.
“Thanks to a very generous donor family, these new facilities will help attract the best student-athletes from around the country and provide them with the facilities to compete at their highest level,” said Patrick Elliott, Binghamton’s director of athletics. “We are extremely excited that we have such a generous family who believes in our Division I student-athletes. These stadium enhancements will have a tremendous impact on our intercollegiate athletics program.
“The architectural firms that designed this project have previous experience building major-league complexes,” Elliott added. “We expect this complex to be in the same league with them.”
The current Binghamton baseball complex was originally completed in September 2012. Subsequent renovations have been made in the years since, including the addition of a new FieldTurf surface in 2016 and a videoboard in 2017.
Renderings courtesy Fawley Bryant Architecture.