Within days of announcing a proposed plan for new grandstand seating at Reagan Field, the 2014 schedule was released for the ‘Breds baseball team.
Rather than fans having to sit on the current terraced seating, they will now be able to choose from 238 chair back seats or 300 bleacher seats. There will also be 12 handicapped seats located at the top of both sides of the grandstand.
The grandstand is only phase one of what could be many renovations to Reagan Field.
Head Coach Rob McDonald said he is happy about the project, but he looks forward to future projects, as well.
“We’re excited that it’s happening,” he said. “We hope that it’s the first step of many steps yet to come.”
As fundraising goals are met, other modifications could include stadium lighting (of which there is currently none), a new press box and an indoor practice facility.
“The seating, press box and lights are all things that are necessary for us,” McDonald said. “Certainly we’re looking for other improvements for things that benefit our student athletes.”
He said there has also been talk about an indoor facility, and that he likes the idea of installing artificial turf.
There are four teams in the OVC that have artificial turf, something McDonald said provides an advantage in this climate.
For now, he is focused solely on the seating project.
“The seating, we hope, will facilitate us getting the lights,” he said. “Those are two huge steps in the right direction for us.”
The ground-breaking ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the field.
The construction will need to be done soon, as the ‘Breds starts their season with a 12-game homestand Feb. 14.
The ‘Breds take to the road for the first time March 4 to face a St. Louis team that participated in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
They return home March 7 to open OVC play in a series against Morehead State, and finish the month with a series against conference foes UT Martin, SIU Edwardsville and Austin Peay.
The middle of April has the ‘Breds on the road for eight of nine games, including a trip to Ohio State over Easter weekend.
In May, the team takes on OVC opponents Southeast Missouri, Belmont and Eastern Kentucky three times each.
The ‘Breds host Kentucky at Brooks Stadium May 13.
The OVC tournament will be at The Ballpark in Jackson, Tenn., May 21-25.
Story by Ryan Richardson, Sports Editor