Penn State Lacrosse Hopes To Upgrade Field With Fundraising Efforts

Men’s and women’s lacrosse are making some noise in Happy Valley. The men’s team came in at No. 1 in the most recent Nike/USLO rankings and is 8-0 for the first time in program history. On the women’s side, Missy Doherty’s squad is a strong 9-1 — good enough for No. 10 in the most recent NCAA rankings. What these lacrosse programs seem to lack is a field or stadium that is up to par with their national reputations.

As Fairfield fans made their way into the stands this past Friday, more than a few (who were obviously pumped up for the big game) noted with some pride that the Penn State Lacrosse Field wasn’t the most impressive lacrosse venue they’d seen. The facility was built in 2012 and features – among other things – AstroTurf, padded retaining walls, and a fairly small set of bleachers. Bathrooms and a concession stand are located in the Multi-Sport Facility adjacent to the stands.

On the opposite side on the bleachers, a grassy hill that backs up to University Drive provides a spot for spectators to take in the experience while enjoying any balmy spring weather that Happy Valley has to offer. This hill, however, may not be left grassy and open for much longer.

Renderings of improvements to the field show changes that would transform the home of Penn State lacrosse into more of a “stadium.” These renderings, courtesy of Penn State Athletics, show the stadium-style bleachers built into the hill:

(Rendering: Penn State Athletics)

As you can see in this sketch, significantly more seating would be added to the west side of the field. Perched atop the hill above the stands is a state-of-the-art press box with complete broadcasting capabilities. Here’s an aerial view of the proposed design:

(Rendering: Penn State Athletics)

The structure would also presumably house a concession stand, ticket office, and multi-purpose room. These upgrades would all significantly improve the current state of the facility.

This particular project was announced before Penn State Athletics released the master facilities plan that will include building and renovation projects for the next 20 years. The lacrosse field project seems to be something of a peripheral concern for Athletics (who will focus on Jeffrey Field, the natatorium, and a new indoor tennis facility in the near future), but fundraising efforts are certainly underway.

An update of this magnitude to the Lacrosse facility would cost about $8.4 million, and a $5.5 million chunk will need to come from fundraising efforts. You can learn more about fundraising for this project by calling the Nittany Lion Club at (814) 865-9462 or 863-4438, and the fundraising effort is certainly targeting anyone and everyone who would donate to the project. Opportunities for donor recognition are available to those donating at least $25,000.

There is no denying that the lacrosse program would be taking a big step forward in terms of game experience if or when the lacrosse field is upgraded. A lack of sufficient seating, the absence of a real press box, and the generally underwhelming nature of the field in its current state would all be taken care of if the fundraising goals can be met.

Who knows, maybe even Patriots star and former Penn State Lacrosse standout Chris Hogan will work his magic on this project.

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Derek Bannister

Derek is a junior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected]

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