BY JACOB TROXELL
“Wow” seemed to be the word everyone could not help to utter as they walked through Salisbury University’s new Sea Gull Stadium during an open house Thursday afternoon.
The $19 million dollar stadium that will host both lacrosse teams, football and field hockey games is open for business.
“Looking outside-in you’re just like ‘wow it’s an awesome complex,’ and as soon a you get in it gets even better. Everything about it is just phenomenal, from the locker room to the training room, press boxes, it’s really going to be a great thing for the university as a whole,” junior Justin Field said, a left tackle on the SU football team.
Field also said that when he runs out on the field for the first time, it will be “the best feeling I’ve ever felt in the world.”
“It’s top notch, it doesn’t get any better than this,” Field said. “We have the best facilities out of anyone that we play, by far, we’ve seen them all. It’s going to be an awesome season.”
Each team’s locker room is on the first floor. The football locker room has over 100 lockers and shares a large bathroom with the men’s lacrosse team. Both the women’s lacrosse and field hockey locker rooms are housed on the south side of the stadium, about the same size as the men’s lacrosse team.
“I knew it was going to be special, but I think it’s exceeded anyone’s expectations,” men’s lacrosse Head Coach Jim Berkman said. “We’re going to have a hop in our step (Saturday) as we get onto the field for the first time.”Head Field Hockey Coach Dawn Chamberlain says she is excited for her student athletes and future recruits.
“It certainly is going to help us with the recruiting process here,” Chamberlain said. “Our current athletes, when they came in here their jaw dropped to the floor, it’s just amazing.”
The first floor of the stadium features a concession stand that will serve hot dogs, nachos, burgers and popcorn just to name a few things, along with a school store and several entrances to the bleachers.
The second floor hosts training rooms, while the third floor holds claim to multiple box suites, including the presidential and athletic director’s suites.
“This facility will be among the best in Division III,” said Gerry DiBartolo, SU’s interim athletics director. This is something that our coaches, student-athletes and fans should be very proud of and conveys the excellence associated with everything we do at Salisbury University.”
The top floor is where game day happens, home to multiple press boxes, media booths, coaches rooms and the Sea Gull Sports Network booth.
Salisbury Mayor Jake Day says Sea Gull Stadium will be an iconic piece of the city.
“This is one more structure that says ‘Salisbury is a growing place, Salisbury is an exciting place.’ Plus it is visible, it is an element of our skyline,” Day said. “We will orient ourselves with this structure.”
So what is SU’s next project? As soon as the softball season ends, a teardown and rebuilding of a new softball stadium will begin, but for now SU can enjoy it’s newest stadium, which can hold over 5,000 fans.
“Its amazing, its an incredible facility,” Chamberlain said. “Every facility in division three, this far exceeds them all.”