Posted by Jeremy Pittenger on November 14, 2017
The first scoring goal (by a Spartan!) at Spartan Athletic Park kicked off a sensational start to competition at the new facility. As many AU student-athletes are discovering, there really is a home-field advantage.
Spartan Stadium, the park’s home to soccer and lacrosse, is regularly being used for practices and games. The football team has also used the field for practices and competition.
Over at Spartan Softball Stadium, players are benefiting from new batting cages. The cages, which include pitching machines, hitting tees and screens, allow multiple players to use them at the same time. Players can also workout on their own at the park, providing a quality alternative to Alumni Hall facilities.
The onsite athletic training facility and expansive locker rooms at the park are providing the ultimate “game day” experience. Now student-athletes can prepare, practice and play at one location. The extra space at Spartan Athletic Park also allows the student-athletes who use Alumni Hall as their main location to have more space and access to the athletic training room and locker rooms there.
Spartan fans are also enjoying the new electronic scoreboard at Spartan Stadium. The 17′ x 24′ board features full color graphics and video capabilities.
Plans call for moving quickly into the next stage of development of the park this spring. Phase II will include the construction of a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, which will open in spring 2019.
What does Spartan Athletic Park and its home-field advantage mean to you and your team?
Head Softball Coach Mike McKenzie
“Our current players are very excited and it will be a huge recruiting tool. The key is to bring recruits to the facility because it is really unbelievable. I have told several prospective students that our stadium is more impressive than most Division I facilities in the country. We have had a great softball tradition at AU, and many former players have returned to take a look at the stadium. Even though our alumni base will never play in the new stadium, they understand that their efforts have helped build a great AU softball tradition.”
Head Men’s Soccer Coach Ryan Lakin
“Spartan Athletic Park advances our program and is a statement to the conference and region that the Spartans are pushing the bar and others need to take notice. This field allows us to play our brand of soccer and shows that Aurora University is dedicated to athletics. My players can’t get enough time out there. They linger before and after practices to shoot extra or work on some skills. The park has helped us polish our soccer culture and will continue to attract high-level student-athletes looking for an atmosphere and program to call home.”
Taylor Arcivar ’19
“Spartan Athletic Park is a symbol that student-athletes are valued and appreciated. I chose AU in part to play on the new women’s lacrosse team. It was an opportunity to participate in something special. Now with the new home field, I’m truly part of a great athletics future.”
Will Craig ’18
“I love that AU values student-athletes and has a vision for the athletics program. With the park being only a few blocks from the main campus, athletes can still feel connected to the university and have a great place to practice and play as well as awesome team facilities. This brings our AU family closer together while maintaining a consistent work environment for our athletes.”