Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

January 21, 2013

University of Kansas gets approval on $39M facility project

LAWRENCE, Kan. — This year's edition of the Kansas Relays could be the last at Memorial Stadium.

The University of Kansas received approval from the Lawrence city commission Tuesday to begin construction on a $39 million complex west of campus that will include a new track and field facility along with a soccer-specific stadium and softball park.

Preliminary plans for "Rock Chalk Park'' call for a track and field stadium with 7,000 permanent seats and room for 3,000 temporary seats. The new facility would mean the existing track could be removed from Memorial Stadium, where the Jayhawks play football.

"As we move forward in our capital campaign, we can focus our attention on two premier projects - the completion of the renovation of Allen Fieldhouse, which we know is our crown jewel, and the renovation of Memorial Stadium,'' Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger said.

"Why is that important?'' Zenger asked. "We live in a day and age of conference realignment. We have seen in recent months that it continues to bubble and percolate. We cannot afford at this time to sit back on our hands and have a stadium that does not reflect the commitment to big-time college football. If that's how we are perceived, we could rue the day that we didn't act when we had the opportunity to act.''

The Kansas Relays, which began in 1923, annually draw one of the nation's top fields to the school's campus. Kansas is one of the few schools in the nation that still has its track inside the football stadium, something that went out of vogue years ago.

School officials hope to have the new track and field complex completed by spring 2014, and Zenger said the goal is to build a facility capable of hosting national championships.

"Track and Field is back at Kansas,'' he said. "If we give them one of the top tracks in the nation, can you imagine what we can do here at the University of Kansas?''

The new soccer stadium will seat 2,500, while the softball facility will seat 1,500.

Zenger said those upgrades are part of a decades-old Title IX review that found Kansas to be far behind rival institutions in providing proper facilities for its women's programs.

"This is just an unbelievably golden opportunity to get that corrected,'' he said. "Even if we weren't under review, even if Title IX weren't involved, the right thing to do is to build facilities for those young women in soccer and softball that are equal to their peers.

"Many of our fans and Lawrence residents aren't able to travel around the county with us as we compete, or even around the region in the Big 12,'' Zenger said. "If they could, they'd see that in these sports we are woefully behind. It's hard for me to say that, but its reality, and that's why we're building these tremendous facilities.''

The Kansas athletic department plans to work with the KU Endowment Association and Bliss Sports to build the facilities. Under terms of the partnership, the school will be able to spread the $39 million cost over 30 years.

"This is great day for Kansas Athletics,'' Zenger said. "This will address longstanding needs that we have been trying to fill for well over a decade, and probably should have addressed as many as 20 years ago.''



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Patel named RSU men's basketball assistant coach

    Rogers State University head men’s basketball coach Justin Barkley named Vinay Patel the new assistant men’s basketball coach on Monday.

    “I am very excited about bringing Vinay on board,” Barkley said. “He brings invaluable experience to the program as he is a well-respected recruiter and his NCAA Division II resume is a perfect fit as we continue our transition to become a full-NCAA Division II member.”

    April 22, 2014

  • DSC_0089web.jpg All-State Hoopsters

    Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell capped off a stellar four-year prep basketball career with Tulsa World 2nd-Team All-State recognition.
    O’Dell, a 5-foot-5 floor general that will compete for the Lamar University Lady Cardinals in the Southland Conference next season, was one of five girls basketball players from Rogers County to earn All-State accolades.
    Claremore senior point guard Kaleigh Cox, Inola senior point guard Lexi Williams, Verdigris senior guard Caitlyn Hanslovan and Verdigris freshman forward Keara Battenfield were named to the honorable mention squad.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0127web.jpg SOCCER: Lady Zebras ranked 4th in Class 5A poll

    Strong senior leadership and a talented core of underclassmen have kept the Claremore Lady Zebras on a nine-game winning streak since falling in the season opener.
    Senior midfielder Katelin Teter and senior defenders Jentry Cruce and Anna McGuire have the Lady Zebras playing their best soccer in the closing week of the regular season.
    Behind Teter, Cruce and McGuire, as well as other seniors Bailey Bacon and Emily Parkinson, the Lady Zebras (9-1) are currently ranked No. 4 overall in the Class 5A girls soccer state poll.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0181web.jpg BASEBALL: Claremore splits series with Collinsville

    The moment Claremore senior catcher Matt Whatley got thrown out at home plate in the top of first inning, it was downhill for the Zebras.
    Collinsville took advantage of six Claremore errors and erupted for 17 hits to thump the Zebras, 15-2 Friday afternoon in Metro Lakes Conference play.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • BROWNweb.jpg BASEBALL: Catoosa’s Brown holds off Ft. Gibson

    Nick Brown twirled a four-hitter and Catoosa held firm defensively with the game on the line, powering the Indians to a 4-3 victory over Fort Gibson Saturday on Senior Day.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0216web.jpg RSU's Law silences UT-Permian Basin

    The Rogers State University baseball team dropped game one of a Heartland Conference series at Texas-Permian Basin, 2-0, but battled back to split the twin bill Friday with a 7-1 victory in the night cap.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Mississippi searching for new basketball coach

    Southern Mississippi athletic director Bill McGillis thought basketball coach Donnie Tyndall might not last long as the team kept winning games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Kentucky's Julius Randle enters NBA Draft

    Kentucky forward Julius Randle took a lot of time and talked to a lot of people before deciding to leave after one season for the NBA draft, where he is expected to be among the top five selections.

    April 22, 2014

  • BIG TEN MBB: Illinois player Darius Paul arrested

    University of Illinois police say basketball player Darius Paul faces preliminary charges of resisting a peace officer and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor.

    April 22, 2014

  • SEC MEN'S BB: Tennessee hires Southern Mississippi's Donnie Tyndall

    Tennessee's coaching position had just become available when Donnie Tyndall received a text message urging him to pursue the job.

    April 22, 2014