Dallas Baptist Unveils New Ballpark

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photo provided by dbupatriots.com

The 2013 season will be a season of change for the Dallas Baptist Baseball Program – a new conference, a chance at an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and, now, a new baseball stadium to call home. Construction on Dallas Baptist Patriot Ballpark, a 2,000 capacity facility will begin this June with an aggressive timeline to complete the project before the first home game on February 15, 2013.

With a $2.5 million gift from a yet-to-be-named donor spearheading the construction, fundraising efforts will begin in earnest during the summer to complete giving for the facility. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our university, our athletics program, and our baseball team to continue our striving to be Champions for Christ,” said Dr. Blair Blackburn, Executive Vice President at Dallas Baptist. “This is going to be one of the premier ballparks of its size in college baseball and we have partnered with the foremost architectural firm in the country for sport venue design in HKS (hksinc.com). We are excited about this project and what it means for Patriot Baseball.”

Patriot Field will remain in its current location and the new ballpark will be built up around it. Current plans call for a brick façade that matches the current Georgian architectural-style of the buildings on campus. Club seating, a state-of-the-art press box, two radio booths, a TV booth, and guest suites as well as coaches’ offices and a reception area will be added alongside new dugouts and enhanced field lighting. A party patio down the left field line is planned in the many fan amenities that are a part of the construction project. “Our goal is that this facility will be ready and able to accommodate future NCAA Regional Tournaments, should our program be selected to host,” said Director of AthleticsRyan Erwin. “Through God’s provision for our program, and the generosity of our fans and supporters, this ballpark will add to the growth of our program as we continue to build on the success we have had over the last 30-plus years.”

In 2011, Dallas Baptist Baseball advanced to their first-ever NCAA Super Regional in only their sixth season of eligibility at the Division I level. Head Coach Dan Heefner, now in his fifth season as Head Coach, has led the Patriots to two NCAA Tournament appearances, and has averaged over 36 wins per year in his time. “We are very thankful to the family that donated the money to start this ballpark and add to the experience our players have during their time at DBU,” said Heefner. “We are very appreciative to our administration and Board of Trustees for all they do to showcase our program as we seek to work with all our heart to glorify God.”

“We ask that our Patriot Family begin praying for God to stir the hearts of people to give to raise the balance of the facility construction,” added Dr. Blackburn. “We will not have accurate pricing information until the plans are completed but we are estimating construction costs to be in the range of $5+ million. Our philosophy for what we do at DBU is grounded in a commitment to excellence. With our partnership with HKS, and our history of building quality institutional facilities, this ballpark will be designed and constructed to be one of the finest collegiate baseball venues in the country.”

Interview with Dr. Blair Blackburn announcing new stadium (courtesy of Patriot Broadcasting Network)