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Future of Dedeaux Field begins to emerge

It sounds like the previously announced plan to temporarily convert University of Southern California’s Dedeaux Field into a 2028 Olympics aquatic center is still on, with an improved “new” facility as a result.

The 2,000-capacity Dedeaux Field has been home to the Trojans since 1974. As the base for the storied program, it holds a very fond spot in the hearts of USC baseball fans, and it has the reputation in the college-baseball world as a decent facility. Named for former USC coach Rod Dedeaux, the facility has been upgraded in recent years with new clubhouses and player spaces as well as room for the tech-heavy Rod Dedeaux Research for Baseball Institute.

The original plan was to transform the ballpark into a temporary open-air aquatics facility, using techniques pioneered at recent US swimming competitions that placed pools into arenas like the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Improvements to Dedeaux Field for the Olympics could carry over into a “new” Dedeaux Field, but nothing has been announced, and we’ve seen no indication of fundraising yet.

Enter Andy Stankiewicz, just hired by USC as new baseball coach, replacing the controversial Jason Gill. You may recognize Stankiewicz in the context of being a former major leaguer, but for us he’s more relevant as coach at Grand Canyon University, where he took part on the school-side facilities expansion that gave us the notable GCU Ballpark, which earned a 2018 Ballpark Digest Award for ballpark improvements and was a big part of the rebuilding of the GCU baseball program. His report: Dedeaux Field will be unavailable fall of 2027, with a replacement opening summer of 2028.

Stankiewicz was eager to set the record straight about the future of the Trojans stadium. While some had wondered if USC baseball would be displaced for several years by construction, Stankiewicz said he’s been assured the program will only be impacted from the fall of 2027 through the summer of 2028.

“That’s it. One year,” Stankiewicz said. “When it’s over, we’re going to be in a gorgeous, brand new Dedeaux.”

If a conversion from ballpark to aquatics center to ballpark is indeed in the works, USC has the chance to retain the tradition of Dedeaux Field while ending up with a leading college ballpark.

Photo courtesy University of Southern California.

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