USF Bulls: New Season, New Stadium
By: Angela Hill
The USF Bulls are starting off their 2011 season with a brand new baseball stadium. The stadium has all state of the art equipment and seating. Bulls fans enjoy the new stadium and hope that it brings a great season as well.
TAMPA, FLA. – This Spring, of 2011, University of South Florida opened its newest development, the brand new baseball stadium. The long awaited project has already brought much joy to not only to USF baseball players, but to the fans as well. It was a long 8 months to build the stadium, but it was well worth it. According to USF’s catcher, Daniel Rockhold, there was no major reason as to why USF was getting a new baseball stadium other than to simply update USF athletic facilities. “The new stadium is a small part of a complete reconstruction of all USF athletics. Along with the baseball stadium there is a new softball and soccer stadium as well as a brand new football practice facility,” Rockhold explains.
In the new stadium there is the huge batting facility that holds 3 batting cages, 6 bullpens for pitchers to throw and a sound system in the batting facility so that the players can listen to music as they practice. The sound system in the stadium is also a highlight. Rockhold’s mother says: “The sounds system is great. Everything is much clearer and even the player’s walk out songs are louder, so it gets them pumped for the game.” Another major highlight of the stadium is the seating. What use to be uncomfortable metal bleachers that could seat around 100 people, has been upgraded to folding seats with a back. The stadiums capacity is now around 1,500 people. Diamond Doll, Kelsey Cowan says: “I think the seating is the fans favorite part. You have the option to sit behind home plate, behind the dugouts, along first or third base line or in the USF student section.” Fans can pretty much view the field at any angle.
The new stadium also has a brand new 50-foot video board. Not only is it an upgrade in general, but also it is now the biggest video scoreboard in the nation. There wasn’t a video board at all on the old Red McEwin Field. Along with that, the new stadium also has the biggest college baseball dugouts in the nation. Equip with bathrooms, the dugout is now a luxury for the players. Rockhold says: “The new dugouts make it easier for the players that aren’t playing to stay out of the way of everyone that is playing. It also makes it easier for them to stay in the game. It definitely makes it easier for people to move around without having to bump into other people or equipment.”
Although the new stadium has been open for roughly 3 months, there has yet to be a dedicated name to the field. Previously, the field was called Red McEwen Field. It is now The New USF Baseball Stadium. Rockhold says, “We are not sure of the reasoning behind it, but I am sure they are just waiting for the appropriate name to come along.” However, he did ensure that it will not stay named, The New USF Baseball Stadium.
The new stadium has made the players better physically and mentally. It makes them better physically just because it is a better field in general. Rockhold says: “The playing surface is perfect. In the old stadium, there were always little holes in the ground or somewhere that a ball would hit and take a bad bounce, but the new stadium plays very true and I really like that.” The players play better mentally because the fans are pumped about the new stadium, which in turn encourages the players to do well. The new stadium is a great addition to USF athletics and the university in general.