Proposal for new ODU baseball stadium includes suites, more seating and new locker rooms


Through Harry mini

NORFOLK, Virginia – This is just a proposal, which will require alumni and friends of Old Dominion University to raise millions of dollars.

But more than 100 baseball alumni, donors and friends who recently caught a glimpse of the look of a remodeled ODU baseball stadium have walked away in awe of what the future may hold for them.

If the new stadium looks like what was presented, it will be a huge upgrade for the Monarchs.

It would include expanded and upgraded seating, luxury suites, club space, new lockers and meeting rooms, and upgraded amenities throughout for players and fans.

“It really is a smart and attractive design,” said Dick Fraim, a longtime ODU host and former radio voice for the basketball program Monarch.

ODU won the Conference USA title last season and was the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. However, because Bud Metheny Stadium lacked the press, lockers, and other facilities required by the NCAA, the Monarchs were sent to play in Columbia, South Carolina.

ODU toppled South Carolina 2-1 in front of nearly 7,000 fans but lost a heavy blow to the University of Virginia in the regional final on a 10th inning home run.

Sporting director Wood Selig said the move to modernize the baseball facility came because the ODU was unable to host the NCAA region last season. Selig said an upgrade was long overdue.

When Bud Metheny Stadium opened in 1983, it was one of the best varsity stadiums in the South East. Now, almost four decades later, that’s nowhere near what the ODU needs to compete, especially at the Sun Belt Conference, where the Monarchs will head in a year or two.

“Our baseball coaches have been very patient over the years,” said Selig. “But now is the time that we provide them with a better facility.”

The ODU stadium upgrade was designed by Populous, a Kansas City-based company that designed most of the Major League Baseball stadiums that have opened in recent years.

Zach Allee and Jason Michael Ford, both Senior Architects Associates at Populous, worked on the ODU design and led the presentation. They helped design Petco Park in San Diego and Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.

They are helped locally by Jeff Hyder, who works with Moseley Architects, a Virginia Beach firm that helped design the renovated SB Ballard football stadium and ODU’s new Chemistry Building.

They plan to keep the existing first and third base stands, Rally Alley and indoor hitting center Paul Keyes, but building new facilities just about everywhere else.

They offer to fill the area behind the marble with backrest seats and tear up the old press room and replace it with a larger, modern facility that could include suites. The bleachers would be replaced and all seats would be dark blue.

The area below the stands would be gutted and filled with three floors of space for the use of the baseball team, fans and media.

There are no premium seats in the current baseball facility, which affects attendance and reduces the potential revenue of ODU baseball. The new facility would include premium space for hundreds of fans and provide air-conditioned space during the early parts of the season in February, March and April.

Dr Selig said a new stadium must generate more income.

Most of the premium seats would be built on the first floor, where a premium club would be located behind the home plate, stretching a short distance along the first and third base lines. The club area would include outdoor seating and indoor standing with loose furniture to allow circulation and gathering of fans, close to home plate and hitters.

The interior would house service areas for catering and concessions to serve people inside the premium area.

It would be a smaller version of the Priority Automotive Club at SB Ballard stadium, located a short walk from the stadium seats.

The first side of the base, being part of the club area, would be a space the team could also use for team meetings and recruiting outside of match days.

There would also be separate concessions on the first and third bases.

A new locker room would be built on the first floor along the third base line, along with a locker room, sports training area, as well as a ticket office and team store selling ODU clothing.

The second floor behind the plate would contain the coaches’ offices and the third would have a new press room with functional areas for media, radio and broadcast, all key elements for hosting conference tournaments and regional and super championships. regional NCAAs.


The stands, extending from third base, behind home plate and at first base, would be extended approximately 15 feet toward home plate to give fans a better view of the field.

The rear seats of the bleachers would be topped at the rear with potential exterior lodge areas as well as accommodation for ADA seats with elevator access. In total, the stadium would have around 2,000 fixed seats.

The most visible change for passers-by is believed to be behind the stadium, at the intersection of 43e Street and Parker Lane.

Currently, a concession stand, with a window air conditioning unit protruding just above, gives the first impression of ODU baseball. It is not a particularly attractive part of the sports complex.

The new facility would rise over three floors and exhibit striking architectural features and extend almost to the sidewalk.

Allee said it is designed to be the “gateway” to the baseball program.

“We think this will make a statement on ODU baseball,” he said.

There would be brick arches, made of now standard “ODU bricks” around the campus, with an “OD” logo, the one long used by the baseball team. The back would be framed in dark blue steel.

Allee and Ford said it was designed to complement the architecture of the campus.

The stadium would be ADA compliant and would have an elevator to the second and third floors. The bullpen could also be moved to the right field where a special area for students could also be set up.


ODU trainer Chris Finwood was impressed.

“These guys are designing hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities,” he said. “And they listen to you when we tell them what you’re looking for.”

The architects received a lot of feedback at the preview, which was held at the Priority Automotive Club. Former Richmond student Barry Kornblau, who has donated $ 2 million over the years to ODU baseball, noted that given the cold early in the season, having an area with headers of patio might be a good idea.

Others agreed and after a long discussion Selig said the consensus was that an open suite with heating for colder games early in the season seemed to be the preferred option.

Selig said he was encouraged by the welcome from alumni and friends.

“It was a great turnout, and I thought the people here were really impressed with what they saw,” said Selig. “We have had very good feedback.

“I think the architects came up with some really great concepts.”

The architects said they would try to incorporate the suggestions and return to ODU with design updates in December.

Selig said the university is awaiting a final design, including cost estimates, and may have them in late December or early January.

Finwood made a passionate appeal to ODU alumni to support the funding of the facility.

“This facility is not up to par for us,” Finwood said. “At ODU, we don’t have any facilities that are in the last two facilities of any league we compete in in any sport except baseball.

“And that’s not OK. It’s my 11th year here and it’s time to sort this out.”

To make his point, Finwood and his team posted photos of 11 stadiums from the Sun Belt Conference.

“The Sun Belt Conference is a fantastic baseball league,” he said. “It’s a much better baseball league than the one we’re leaving. Where it’s a lot better is in the facilities.

“I’ve always believed that you always do the best you can with what you have today. And we try to do it every day. We never use anything that we don’t have as an excuse.”

“But that’s what we’re trying to beat,” he added, pointing to the slides.

The new stadium wouldn’t be the best in the Sun Belt, but Finwood said that was okay.

“We don’t need the best facilities,” he said. “We don’t need the best players.

“We need the right facility and the right players. We can win with that.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Well, they won without that.’ But that’s not realistic, you can’t keep doing that when that’s what you’re competing against.

“We need you to take this to heart. Please take this to heart. “

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