New softball field highlights sporting venues

As a part of the Athletic Associations plan to improve the facilities of the student athletes, construction of a new softball stadium has begun at the corner of 8th Street and Fowler in the parking lot of the O’Keefe Building.

“[The new stadium] means a lot to the program. It really shows that we are trying to take care of our student athletes,” said softball head coach Sharon Perkins.

The new state-of-the-art facility will have a seating capacity of 1000. The grandstands will contain both hard-backed stadium seating as well as bleacher seating, and there will be a grass area behind the outfield wall for patrons who want a different view of the game.

The stadium will also feature an open terrace behind the grandstands where concessions will be served. A new press area, which will include sections for both television and radio broadcasts, will be above the grandstands and, along with the lighting for night games, will allow Tech to host both ACC and NCAA Regional Championships.

There will also be indoor batting cages down the left field line and new facilities for the players in the O’Keefe Building. Both teams will also have their individual bullpen areas down their respective outfield lines. The below ground dugouts will also allow for grass covered terraces to sit on top of the dugout allowing the fans to have a even closer view of the games.

With the softball team moving on-campus, the Glenn Field, the home of the Jackets since their inaugural season in 1987, will be sold to pay for the new field.

The new stadium is scheduled for completion by the opening of the softball season, which begins in early February.

Aside from its amenities, the new stadium also aids in recruitment of future softball students. “We are dealing with a lot of kids in the southeast region. The SEC schools tend have nice facilities and now ACC schools are starting to have nice facilities,” Coach Perkins said.

While the softball field caputes the luxary of novelty, Tech’s other sporting facilities boast a long standing tradition. Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field houses one of the most storied football programs ever. The stadium was originally built in 1913 by the Tech students. The stadium is the oldest on-campus stadium in NCAA Division I-A football.

Its most recent renovation, completed in 2003, helped increase the stadium capacity to 55,000 seats. The largest crowd in its current state came in a game against second-ranked Notre Dame two years ago, with 56,680 fans attending the game.

The most ever was 60,316 people in 1973, when Tech hosted Georgia. Because of the stadium’s age, it has gone through many reconstructions that have constantly changed the seating capacity.

Tech added the name Bobby Dodd Stadium to the facility in April of 1988. Dodd helped Tech compile a 165-64-8 record in his tenure as the coach of the team and served in some capacity with the institution for 57 years.

It was originally named after John W. Grant in 1914, a member of the Tech Board of Trustees.

Russ Chandler Stadium, the home of Georgia Tech’s Baseball team, was first opened in 1930 with the funds that Tech collected from the 1929 Rose Bowl game.

Its most recent renovation was in 2002, when the whole field was reconstructed. The stadium holds 4,157 people, with plans to expand the seating to hold more than 5,000 people.

The stadium is named in honor of A. Russell Chandler III, who donated much of the necessary money needed for its renovation in 1985.

Tech has hosted numerous NCAA Regionals and ACC tournaments in the past two decades. The stadium was also used as a training site during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Tech’s Alexander Memorial Coliseum has been home to the basketball teams for over 50 years and holds a capacity of 9,191. During the Olympics in 1996 the arena hosted boxing events.

The arena has gone through several renovations through the years, each time adding seating capacity while still maintaining the intimacy and character of the arena. The latest change added standing room by each of the baskets.

Other venues such as the swimming facility at the CRC hosted the swimming events during the 1996 Olympics, and the Bill Moore Tennis has recent fame as the home of the 2007 NCAA Women’s National Championship team and 2008 NCAA Women’s Singles Champion Amanda McDowell.