After nine months of anticipation the refurbishment of Ortmayer Stadium is finally complete.
Along with Vista La Verne, Ortmayer Stadium makes the University of La Verne look like a completely new school.
The stadium accommodates football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s track and field and also could accommodate a women’s lacrosse program if the University decided to add that in the future, according to Chip West, senior director of central services and capital planning.
“I think the stadium looks great,” West said.
“But more importantly; I think the improvements that have been made enhance also the functionality and use of the spaces for our athletics and movement and sports sciences departments.”
The refurbished stadium includes a brand new scoreboard, a football field that is now all artificial turf, a new track and is now ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant.
With the new track, the track and field team will be able to host home track meets, something they were not able to do with the old field.
“I am hoping it gives us a great home field advantage, something we haven’t had for a while,” West said.
West has been excited to hear from student athletes, coaches, staff and faculty how happy they are with the stadium.
“It just looks beautiful,” head football coach Chris Krich said. “It’s nice to go out and have a perfect field every day.”
The men’s and women’s soccer teams have already had the chance to try out the new field in their home openers.
Men’s soccer won its first game on the new Ortmayer Stadium against Pacific with the score of 3-1.
Women’s soccer demolished Mills College on their first steps onto Ortmayer Stadium, blowing Mills out with the score of 12-0.
If there is any sign that there is now a home field advantage for Leopards’ athletics, this was it.
West also hopes that the new stadium will build more sense of community with the students and fans.
“I hope that now spectators can be excited to watch games and matches and that visiting teams are impressed, and a little intimidated, by our facilities,” West said.
“I’m pretty excited to go check it out,” junior biology major Peter Marquez said. “It looks really nice. I’m definitely going to check out some football and soccer games this season.”
Along with fans, West and Krich both hope that the new stadium will also be a helpful tool in recruiting.
“I hope that new recruits will see that the quality of our sports facilities matches the quality of our athletic program,” West said.
“It’s about meeting student needs,” Krich said. “I hope the stadium not only brings more people, but higher quality people.”
The grand re-opening of the stadium will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 15 before the football team’s season opener against Whitworth.
Christian Orozco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.