North Texas Daily

New soccer/track and field stadium nearing the finish

New soccer/track and field stadium nearing the finish

New soccer/track and field stadium nearing the finish
January 31
00:19 2019

Athletic director Wren Baker released the Light The Tower plan on Oct. 1, featureing the new facilities North Texas athletics hopes to acquire throughout the next 20 years. The first facility to be built under the master plan is the new soccer/track and field stadium, which finishes construction in a few weeks.

Head track and field coach, Carl Sheffield said that the facilities have been a long time coming.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said head track and field coach, Carl Sheffield. “It’s going to be fantastic for our athletes. They have earned the right to be in there.”

Jared Mosley, the associate vice president of North Texas athletics, said the final cost of the stadium is projected to be around $14 million.

The stadium, which is located on the south side of Warranch Tennis Complex on Walt Parker Road, holds a seating capacity of 1,062 people.

The soccer team will be moving from the Mean Green Soccer Stadium to the new stadium, while the track and field team will leave their current facility at Fouts Field.

The Mean Green soccer and track and field teams gained a recruiting advantage with the addition of the new facility. 

“Once we get the rest of our graphics and championship pictures on the wall, we’ll be good to go,” head soccer coach John Hedlund said. “That’s what our recruits want to see – the history, the tradition, the championships. We’re slowly getting everything over here that is going to sell to recruits and their families.”

Freshman sprinter Davonye Jones said the upcoming facility was one of the reasons why he decided to continue his track and field career at North Texas.

“My family has always told me to have my own experience and be a part of something new,” Jones said. “When I saw that here, I knew this was the school for me. The facility was a big part in me coming here.”

The track will be the same kelly green North Texas displays on uniforms throughout the entire athletic program. The track and field team plan to host a meet on April 6, which marks the first track meet North Texas has hosted in six years.

Sheffield said Texas Christian, Texas and Baylor are the last three schools that have built track facilities like the one North Texas will be running on this spring.

“We’re performing at a very high level on the surface at Fouts Field right now,” Sheffield said. “Our athletes’ legs are going to feel so much lighter and so much better on the new surface. Their recovery from week to week will be much improved. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Hedlund said the surface and layout of the field are much improved from the stadium North Texas soccer has played in since 2006.

The new layout consists of a draining system for the fall rains of Denton, something the current surface has never had. Also, the field has the same surface found at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, home of MLS team FC Dallas.

“The new surface is just incredible,” Hedlund said. “We’re not going to have any issues when it comes to bad weather. I’ve walked the field when it has poured three days in a row and the surface is almost bone dry.”

Other highlights of the facility are the brand-new locker rooms, meeting rooms, training facilities and a 25-feet-by-16-feet Daktronics video board.

The locker rooms and meeting rooms inside the facility are up to date with new equipment, the building has numerous TVs and a separate training room from the Athletic Center.

North Texas soccer has made three NCAA Tournament appearances, with the last one coming in 2018. The Mean Green have never been able to host an NCAA tournament game because of their current stadium.

With the addition of the entire facility and stadium, Hedlund said North Texas soccer will be able to host NCAA Tournament games in the future, something long overdue for a program that has won 15 conference championships.

“Our locker rooms and meeting rooms are phenomenal,” Hedlund said. “It’s night and day compared to where we are. We have everything we need to host an NCAA tournament game now.”

Featured Image: A track goes around the perimeter of the new soccer field that sits on the corner of Bonnie Brae and Willowwood streets. Image by: Kathryn Jennings. 

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Bronte Hermesmeyer

Bronte Hermesmeyer

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