News broke on Friday afternoon that the Bat Cats will have a new 49 million dollar, 4,000 seat home on Alumni Drive starting in 2018.
On Monday afternoon, University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and baseball coach Nick Mingione met with the media to further discuss the new addition.
- Mitch Barnhart said that the plan to get the new baseball stadium fell through the cracks several times and that the athletics department had to wait through "cycles." However, he believes this is the best solution at the best time for the program. The new stadium is a continuation of an "athletic village" on the Alumni Drive section of campus. As a result of the construction, the UK soccer team’s practice field will move up on a hill overlooking the new ball yard.
- Ground will break in February 2017, and the building process will take 18 months with an intended opening in fall of 2018.
- UK Head Baseball Coach Nick Mingione said that the stadium represents "commitment" and "investment" in the baseball program.
- Barnhart stated that construction funds come from a "signing bonus" from the athletics department’s new deal with JMI Media and an internal loan from the university.
- Amenities will include an open-air concourse, a larger video board, a playroom for children with artificial grass, and a "party room" near the press box that can accommodate 200 people. The stadium will include Kentucky barn wood and limestone that were major components of Commonwealth Stadium’s makeover.
- Over 150 baseball alumni were on campus when the proposal for the new stadium was approved at a board meeting on Friday, including the 2006 SEC Champions. Barnhart and Mingione stated that reception from former players was overwhelmingly positive.
- The area that encompasses Cliff Hagan Stadium will be turned over to the tennis team, and once the baseball team moves construction will begin on a new indoor/outdoor 12 court facility. Barnhart also said that the former football practice fields on Cooper Drive will be used for new intramural fields and as a practice area for the marching band.
- The Purple Lot for football parking will be affected by the new stadium. It will potentially be replaced by either two 500-600 capacity lots or a parking garage.
-A new soccer practice field replacing the one located at the site of the new baseball stadium will be built at the current site of the club practice field off College Way.