Hoo, boy. I ended the first of the request series with some numbers and statements on the coaching staff (good and bad). I am ready to jump into a new topic, so let's go light and fluffy. The stadium!
A couple requests came in for an update on the current status of the lacrosse stadium, especially in light of the COVID19 situation. I was incredibly curious myself, especially after a comment was made on a previous post. So, being bored and with COVID19 providing me additional time, I decided to call you the people responsible for making the stadium happen. Let me tell you, there's a lot to be excited about.
First and foremost, I am amazed at how small the lacrosse community is, even now. The person I talked to in charge of answering questions regarding the lacrosse stadium was a former Ohio State lacrosse player. He let me know the architect they're using for plans is also a former Ohio State lacrosse player. The architect is also based in Columbus. It's a Buckeye family affair, this stadium, and that warms the cockles of my cold, cold heart. How can you not love the fact that pretty much everyone involved is deeply connected to the lacrosse program? That is going to make it a truly fantastic facility for both teams to enjoy.
Second, the status of the stadium is that everything is on hold like pretty much the entire world due to this COVID19 business. Fundraising had reached a little past the 50% mark (around $11 million of the $22 million required) for the new stadium prior to the massive shutdowns. That's in less than a year since the announcement of approval for the project. Since the shutdowns, however, there's been essentially zero progress, putting this campaign on hold until people get back to work, and are back to giving. Until that time, it will be a wait-and-see approach.
Third, with the delay, it sounds like plans are being pushed back a bit. Originally the design was going to be presented to the Board of Trustees at the August meeting, but the pandemic has pushed that back to December, most likely. That means the stadium most likely won't be ready until the 2023 season (winter 2020 presentation, 2021-very early 2022 for construction, practice begins fall 2022, games in 2023). I could certainly be wrong on the timeline, as the 2,500-seater could be framed and enclosed fast enough for 2022, but I just don't see it. There's always construction delays, and you may as well get it 100% right a little later than have to make a bunch of repairs right away. Still, a fall 2022 open would be fantastic.
Finally, I was asked about pictures for the stadium. Since the designs are still being finalized, and the money has not been raised yet, there are essentially zero pictures. I do have a page of .PDF with some pretty horrible Photoshop renderings. I will try to embed it here, and just remind you that this will not reflect the final product. Otherwise, we will have to wait for the final designs to become available.
With the limbo of the pandemic, this is obviously a much shorter update. Hopefully more information will come available soon. In the interim, hopefully the fundraising venture will pick up once more, and we can get things back on track for both the men’s and women’s teams.