ATHLETICS: Ball State announces plan to relocate soccer field

Move establishes athletic complex north of Scheumann Stadium for soccer, field hockey, track

Ball State announced a plan Thursday to move the soccer field to the area north of Scheumann Stadium where the field hockey and track teams already compete.

The complex will cost $1.7 million to construct and is expected to be completed by July 31, according to a press release.

The new soccer field will be placed next to the existing field hockey field, along McGalliard Road, soccer coach Craig Roberts said. The land now is unused, though it does have some equipment for field events. Roberts said the field would be a turf field, though the exact brand has yet to be decided. Roberts said he first heard of the plan when he interviewed for his job in the spring, but didn't find out until this week that it was fully approved.

The soccer team has played at the opposite end of the campus, across from Ball Memorial Hospital, since its inception in 1999. Roberts said he is excited to make the move.

"I think any time you have a new facility being built for you, it's a positive experience," he said. "I'm delighted to have it in that location. It's great for [the] program."

The soccer team was the only team to play at the south end of campus. The rest of Ball State's teams are centered around Worthen Arena or Scheumann Stadium.

As a part of the plan, an entryway will be constructed for the fields, which will be called the Briner Sports Complex.

The planned entryway is reminiscent of the columns at the north end of Scheumann Stadium. It will be four brick columns topped by a curving white stone bearing the name of the complex. The entryway will be built at the current entrance from the parking lot to the field hockey field, on the west end.

The new entrance will bring the teams together, which Roberts is looking forward to.

"Being in one location will help form camaraderie," he said.

In addition to the soccer field, restrooms will be built for the three fields. Currently, there are portable toilets at the BSU Turf Field, where field hockey plays.

The complex will be named after Ken and Peggy Briner, who made a "substantial donation to the project," athletics director Tom Collins said in a press release. Collins was out of town Thursday and did not return a call.

In addition to the Briners, six other families or individuals contributed to the complex. Roberts is thankful to all the donors for making the project possible, especially the Briners.

"We are forever indebted to them for getting chance to play on field they've invested in," Roberts said. "It will impact a lot of female athletes, a lot of female soccer players in the years to come."

Ball State will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday at 9:30 a.m. before the football game against Northern Illinois.


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