Ute Field will have a different look when the 2002 soccer season opens against nationally-ranked Portland on Sept. 1.
Aug. 16, 2002
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah athletics department has unveiled plans to renovate its soccer and softball complex. The initial phase of the project, costing $500,000, is being funded in part by a $400,000 donation from the Katherine W. Dumke and Ezekiel R. Dumke, Jr. Foundation.
Work on Phase I of the project began in July and will be completed in time for soccer's season opener on Sept. 1. Permanent seating is being erected on the south side of the soccer field and a new irrigation system has been installed. The scoreboards for both soccer and softball have been relocated. Concessions and restroom facilities for soccer are expected to be finished in the spring of 2003.
Future plans call for numerous additional improvements to the complex. Among those are an enlarged seating area with chair seats, redesigned dugouts, a new press box and concessions and restroom facilities for softball. The entire complex will be re-landscaped and new ticket booth entrances will be added.
"This project reflects the growing strength of our women's soccer and softball programs," said Associate Athletics Director Amy Hackett. "The goal of this project is to improve both the softball and soccer facilities to the standards necessary for hosting NCAA Championship events."
"The completion of the seating project and the improvements to the field are going to benefit the soccer program in many ways," said first-year Head Soccer Coach Rich Manning. "It will be a more comfortable environment for our fans, a better playing surface for the players, and should help us attract top recruits to play at the U. We're really excited about that and can?t wait for the season to begin."
Despite construction for the new TRAX line on South Campus Drive, parking for soccer will remain available in the lot south of Ute Field. Fans can get their first look at the completed portion of the project when Utah soccer opens its season on Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m. The Utes host Portland, which advanced to the national semifinals last year is expected to be ranked among the top five teams in the nation when the preseason polls are announced.