Alumni field gets a needed upgrade

Jonathan Rhodes

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Last season, the Lions baseball team had the best home attendance on average in the Southland Conference. General admission season tickets are going for $103, and the new boxed seats are $279. For the past three years, Alumni Field has been improved with a new turf, scoreboard and now an improved  bleacher section. Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion’s Roar

Some new features have been added to the Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field this season to improve the experience for Lions baseball fans. LED lights have been put up around Alumni Field. A new general admission bleacher section was added and a radar gun will appear on the scoreboard.

Alumni Field is the second facility along with the University Center that will be using LED lights. Athletic Director Jay Artigues explained why they decided to change to the LED lights and how it will improve the field for the fans and the players.

“The lights were at the point that they needed to be replaced because they did not pass the test, so we needed to get new lights,” said Artigues. “We are really excited for the opportunity to get new LED lights because that is what we see everyone else going to. It was definitely a needed upgrade. The fans will definitely see a dramatic increase in lights.”

According to Artigues, the Lions will be the only baseball program in Louisiana to have LED lights.

The general admission bleacher section has been replaced with a new aluminum model. An access ramp has also been added to the section with a concrete path leading up to the section.

“We also put boxed seats at right field and did the same thing at left field,” said Artigues. “We did this to upgrade the seating area, but it is also going to be revenue producing because before, we had no boxed seats in that area.”

The radar gun on the scoreboard will display the speed of every pitch during the season for the fans to see.

“That is just for the fans, for entertainment,” said Artigues. “You see at a lot of bigger stadiums, they have the radar gun on the scoreboard for the fans’ enjoyment. We are excited to add that just for the overall enhancement of the environment out here.”

For the past three seasons, the Lions have set a new attendance record. Last season, the Lions led the Southland Conference in attendance with an average of 1,210 fans at each home game.

With these new improvements to Alumni Field, Artigues hopes to continue to provide the great atmosphere that fans are used to at Lions baseball games.

“Alumni Field is one of the best atmospheres and one of the best venues that you will find in the country,” said Artigues. “Even with all of the upgrades, it still has that old timey feel, and that is the way we want to make sure we keep it here.”

The prices for general admission season tickets are $103, and the box seats are $279. Reserved seats are $128, and the family plan general admission tickets are $206.

The Lions will start their season on Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, which will be the first of nine straight home games to start the season. Their other opponents will be Alcorn State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of Connecticut and Louisiana State University. 

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