New baseball, softball and tennis facilities open
Binghamton University formally opened its new tennis, baseball and softball facilities on Sept. 21, with a ceremony on campus. The event, which included a formal tour of the facilities, culminated the year-long project that began last September.
“Division I athletics requires great leadership, great coaches and great players, but it also requires great facilities as well,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said. “What’s neat about this is that all of these things came first and the facilities came after. I can only imagine what the future performances of our programs will be now that these facilities are in place.”
“These three venues provide our student-athletes with some of the finest facilities in the Northeast,” Binghamton Director of Athletics Patrick Elliott said. “Our baseball, softball and tennis programs all have strong winning traditions. Our hope is that these new state-of-the-art facilities will give our coaches and student-athletes an even greater edge while competing for conference championships and NCAA tournament bids.”
The event was also attended by state Sen. Thomas Libous and state Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, both of whom spoke to the media, coaches and student-athletes who were present.
“When the Events Center was opened in 2004, we saw the need to upgrade the other campus athletic facilities to a Division I caliber,” Libous said. “I am very proud to be here with my colleagues to celebrate this special event that you all deserve.”
“This is a great day to be here,” Lupardo said. “We think about our support for Binghamton University a lot and we will continue to be behind the University every step of the way.”
The baseball and tennis projects were upgraded where the old facilities existed, adjacent to the Events Center. The softball facility, however, is brand new, having been built behind the Bearcats Sports Complex. The old softball field was located behind the East Gym.
Binghamton’s baseball team, which won the 2009 America East title as well as four straight regular-season conference championships (2007-10), will now play on a field that features 464 stadium seats and professional-style, sunken dugouts. In addition, the field has a new natural grass surface with irrigation, drainage and professional-grade infield dirt.
“Our guys are thrilled with the facility,” head coach Tim Sinicki said. “Every day they come out is a true sense of excitement and also a great sense of appreciation for what the University has done for us.”
The softball team, which has won at least 20 games each of the past three years, moves into a facility that has stadium seating for 236 fans, professional-style dugouts as well as a natural grass surface that is fully irrigated.
“It is definitely nice when you can show recruits the actual field,” head coach Michelle Burrell said. “We’ve had pictures and photos but now we can bring them here. It’s already been a big help for us.”
Both the softball and baseball facilities have a press box and full sound systems. Each is also wired for lights in the future.
As for the tennis facility, there are now 12 new courts, six of which are fully cushioned. Spectators and coaches will be able to use a center promenade. There is also new fencing and windscreens.
The new tennis facility will be the home to two of most successful athletic programs at Binghamton. The men’s squad has captured five consecutive America East titles, while the women’s team has been the conference runner-up in four of the past five years.
“We are thrilled to have a facility of this standard,” head men’s tennis coach Adam Cohen said. “It’s excellent and we are hoping to host the America East Championships come April. We have big plans for the future of our program in this place.”
The baseball, softball and tennis projects mark the third upgrade during Binghamton’s 12-year NCAA Division I era. The Events Center, which houses the basketball teams, was opened in 2004. Three years later, the soccer and lacrosse programs moved into the Bearcats Sports Complex.