New baseball/softball complex to bear Miller name

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    By SETH LEWIS

    He owns car dealerships, the Delta Center and the Utah Jazz.

    Now Larry H. Miller’s name will find itself on a part of BYU.

    The university’s proposed baseball and softball complex will be dubbed Miller Park, the athletic department announced Tuesday.

    Larry and Gail Miller made a “significant financial contribution” to the $7 million project, according to a news release.

    “BYU is pleased to have the Miller name prominently displayed on its campus,” President Merrill J. Bateman said.

    The baseball field will be called Larry H. Miller Field, and the softball field will be Gail Miller Field.

    “We’re really excited about it,” athletic director Val Hale said. “(Larry) sees it as a way to leave a legacy at BYU.”

    As well as a way to make an indirect contribution to the LDS Church.

    “I think he sees it as a way to provide something back to the church,” Hale said.

    Hale wouldn’t disclose the exact dollar figure of Miller’s donation, but said the athletic department “still has to raise some money.”

    Other contributors had already pledged $2 million before the stadium was announced last month.

    But the Miller donation gives the department the financial confidence to move forward.

    “Initially, we thought we might have to build it in phases,” Hale said. “This will go ahead and allow us to build the facility for sure.”

    Miller Park — expected to be completed by the 2001 season — will have back-to-back baseball and softball stadiums covered by a tensile-fabric structure roof.

    It will include such new features as stadium seating, lights, locker rooms and a press box overlooking the fields.

    “This will be one of the finest collegiate baseball/softball facilities in the country,” Hale said.

    And one that may draw some of the nation’s finest players as well.

    “This will serve not only as an improved playing facility, but also as a recruiting and development tool for BYU’s baseball and softball programs,” Larry Miller said.

    He’s no stranger to softball.

    Miller has been inducted into the Utah Hall of Fame and the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame.

    “We think it’s nice fit for him because of what he’s done as a softball player and what he’s done for softball in Utah,” Hale said.

    See related story:

    Baseball and softball to get new stadium 01/18/2000

    BYU gets its field of dreams 01/19/2000

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