Sports complex construction begins

Staff Writer

The University will break ground on its South Side Sports Complex on March 2, 2017.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new sports complex will start at 10:30 a.m. It will take place at 231 Broadway Street. The event will also feature some light refreshments.

The University announced its plans for the sports complex on Oct. 4, 2016. The South Side Sports Complex will feature fields and facilities that The University’s field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, softball and baseball teams will be able to use.

The new complex will provide the teams with playing fields that are close to The University.

“Our fields for softball are a 20-minute drive away, which can be really inconvenient, especially for players who have later classes,” Shannon Rattigan, a first-year softball player, said.

“Having a new complex close to campus that accommodates all of the sports teams will allow teams to focus more on practices and games rather than transportation to the fields. It also allows students to support all of their favorite athletic teams.”

The field hockey, soccer and lacrosse teams will move from Fitzpatrick Field to a turf field at the South Side Sports Complex.

The 75-by-120-yard multi-purpose field will also include 776 bleacher seats for fans, field lighting and a press box. The softball team will no longer travel to the Jessup Youth Sports Complex to play home games. Instead, the team will be able to play on the turf softball field at the new sports complex. The softball field will also feature more than 200 bleacher seats, a batting cage, and home and away bull pens.

The baseball team, which currently plays at Connell Park located about two miles from The University, will have a new turf baseball field to call home when construction on the athletics complex is completed. The team’s new field will also include more than 400 bleacher seats, two batting cages, and home and away bull pens.

Also included in the South Side Athletics Complex’s plans are a children’s playground area, a community basketball court, a 4,000 square-foot fieldhouse, which will feature two team locker rooms and a training room, and enough parking to accommodate about 90 cars.

The South Side Athletics Complex will meet The University’s need for more space for its club, intramural and varsity sports teams. As of now, The University’s 10 NCAA and PIAA tournaments.

According to a press release, The University believes the new sports complex will be a great selling point when teams are recruiting prospective players in the future.

The South Side Sports Complex will be accessible to the public, providing the community with a new recreation complex. The University believes the new sports complex will also be able to boost the local economy. This is because, with The University’s ability to host NCAA and PIAA tournaments after the completion of this project, more visitors from outside Scranton will come to the city, bringing their business with them.

The University bought the property for the South Side Sports Complex for $1.5 million from the Scranton Redevelopment Authority in 2006.

The University designed the plans for the South Side Sports Complex with the landscape architect firm David and Edson, located in Lititz, PA.

The University is investing about $14 million in order to develop the 11 acres of the new sports complex. The University plans to finance the project primarily through donations.

The South Side Sports Campus is expected to be completed by Fall 2017.

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