The University of Oklahoma has landed a $1.1 million gift for upgrades to L. Dale Mitchell Park, helping to advance plans for a major overhaul to its baseball facility. The gift comes from Brian Kimrey and his wife, Kim, adding a major contribution to the estimated $15-million improvement project.
“We believe the best is still yet to come for Oklahoma Baseball but we must maintain our ability to recruit among the nation’s elite, which often begins with facilities and student-athlete development,” said Brian Kimrey. “It’s our hope that others see this gift as a springboard for others to join arms with our family, as well those who’ve already stepped up, to see this project become a reality.”
In addition to a gift from former OU baseball player and major leaguer Bob Stephenson this becomes the second seven-figure gift to the project. It is the 36th such gift in the history of OU Athletics, all during Joe Castiglione’s tenure as athletics director.
“Brian and his family are creating transformational opportunities for OU student-athletes and our fans,” Castiglione said. “This kind of generosity provides enhancements that we’ll be enjoying for many years to come, all because this wonderful family has a vision for the advancement of Sooner baseball. Obviously, we are profoundly grateful.”
“We spend every day at our facility, so we have a particularly clear understanding of what the Kimrey family is doing for us,” said head baseball coach Skip Johnson. “College baseball gets more competitive every year so we’re looking for every edge we can get. The Kimreys are providing the kind of edge we need in building and maintaining an elite baseball program.”
Some $3.6 million have now been pledged to the baseball project, which is one of several that is in the planning stages. The total estimated cost for the baseball upgrades is $15 million.
“We have many projects in our masterplan and private giving is paramount in moving to completion,” Castiglione said. “It’s difficult to put into words what gifts of this kind mean to us. We are very responsible in the management of our budget with a goal of providing the finest experience in college athletics. When our donors stand with us it gives us that competitive advantage that sets OU apart.”
The baseball facilities project is aimed at improving student-athlete facilities and the overall fan experience, changing the look of the ballpark from both the interior bowl and the exterior. New locker rooms, training areas, coaches’ offices and team meeting areas combined with chair-back seating, terraced berms and additional awnings and concourses are among the planned improvements.
A new entry to the team facility will include a Champions Lobby, displaying the history of the Oklahoma Baseball program.
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