Archive for Wednesday, July 9, 2008

University of St. Mary to open football-soccer facility on campus

July 9, 2008

— The college sports experience at the University of Saint Mary is about to get a lot more convenient and more enjoyable for Spires fans and athletes.

USM has announced plans to build a new football and soccer complex at the main campus in Leavenworth. Construction is scheduled to be complete in time for the men's and women's soccer alumni exhibition games on Aug. 23.

USM will build the complex north of McGilley Field House on the northwest side of campus along Hughes Road. The project will utilize an existing incline to incorporate bleacher-style seats for 1,000 fans, two patios, goalposts, a new scoreboard, a climate-controlled press box with seven rooms, and sidewalks from the parking lot to the bleacher section that are wheelchair accessible. The location will allow USM to use existing locker rooms in McGilley.

McGilley Field House, which opened in the summer of 2004, was the last major construction project on campus.

The Spires football team has been playing at neighboring fields since the team was first established in 2000, It played home games at Platte City (Mo.) High School for the past two seasons. The football team first played at Abeles Field in Leavenworth before moving to Lansing High School in 2004.

"We want to thank all the athletes who've ever played football at Saint Mary," coach Lance Hinson said. "They built the reputation for quality athletics that is now allowing us to build this complex."

The first home football game at the new complex will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, against Bethel College. USM is inviting all of its football alumni to a tailgate party at 11 a.m. All soccer alumni are invited back for a soccer alumni exhibition games on Aug. 23. The women's game is at 1 p.m., followed by the men's game at 3 p.m.

The Spires soccer teams have played home games on campus since their inception in 1990, playing home games in recent years on the field north of McGilley, minus the new amenities planned for the new complex.

"Our football players and soccer players, not to mention our coaches, fans, and our entire Saint Mary community, are very excited this new complex is coming to fruition. It's a thrilling time in Saint Mary athletics history and we know it will have a major impact on our ability to recruit new athletes," said Rob Miller, athletic director and head baseball coach.

The announcement of the new complex coincides with the launch of GoSpires.com, a new Web site devoted to the eight varsity sports teams at USM.

The site features information on all the teams, a video tour of the sports facilities, and audio messages from each of the coaches. Construction progress of the football/soccer complex can also be monitored on the home page, with construction photos set to be updated weekly.

Spires alumni athletes are encouraged to update their information with the USM alumni office to receive the latest details about the first home game celebrations at the new complex. Call (913) 758-6137 or e-mail alumni@stmary.edu.

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