By SETH LEWIS
The BYU athletic department will announce Jan. 18, the construction of new baseball and softball stadiums.
“You bet we’re excited,” BYU assistant athletic director Gary Pullins said of the announcement, which will be made at a 10 a.m. press conference at Cougar Stadium.
“We’ve waited a long time for this,” he said.
The complex, expected to cost $7 million, will feature back-to-back baseball and softball stadiums where Cougar Field stands, Pullins said.
Both will be completed in time for the 2001 season.
The stadiums will feature new dugouts, locker rooms and scoreboards, along with 2,000 individual seats and – for the first time – lights and a press box.
“Some of the work we’ve already done,” Pullins said of the reconstruction of the outfield wall.
Since the softball team will play its first season at Harmon Park this spring, construction will start immediately, Pullins said.
Construction on the baseball project, however, will have to wait until after BYU’s final home game May 13.
For Pullins, who coached the baseball team for 23 years before moving to his administrative post last June, the addition of lights is long overdue.
“We’re finally going to be able to have night games and host the conference tournaments,” he said.
The new seating arrangements also make that possible.
“We’re going to tear out those ugly bleachers,” Pullins said.
While the new stadium-style seating will serve 1,000 fewer fans than Cougar Field’s bleachers, Pullins said sets of temporary bleachers would be added when necessary.
The scoreboard will be replaced for the first time since 1959.
Pullins said the complex was designed by the athletic administration, baseball coach Vance Law and softball coach Mary Kay Amicone.
Models of the new complex will be displayed at the press conference today.
Cougar Field has been the baseball team’s home since 1969.