“Monica Bertino Wooden is truly an inspirational leader, accomplished entrepreneur, and thoughtful philanthropist,” said Susan Bassett ’79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and campus recreation. “It means more than words can convey to have a former teammate and Delta Psi Kappa sister make such a commitment to Bomber success. The value of this generous gift impacts our football program, first and foremost, but extends beyond that, as these alterations will greatly increase opportunities for the use of Butterfield Stadium by other athletics programs and the wider campus community. This will enhance our athletics competitiveness as well as the overall student experience. The demand for time on Higgins Stadium, our lone synthetic surface, cannot adequately be met. By doubling our inventory, I expect to quadruple our capacity.”
The project is expected to bring positive environmental and economic benefits as well. Synthetic turf fields conserve water since irrigation is not needed, and the stormwater runoff is cleaner since it will not include the fertilizers and pesticides required for natural-grass fields. The planned Musco LED sports lighting system cuts energy consumption by as much as 80% compared to a traditional sports light system and virtually eliminates glare, sky glow, and light spill.
“We will both save on maintenance costs and create revenue-generating opportunities, with a stadium that can host a variety of large-scale outdoor events when not being used by the college community,” said Tim Downs, vice president for finance and administration. “This aligns with our strategic plan goals of improving space utilization, optimizing resources, and developing community partnerships.”
The installation of the turf field is being managed by Clark Companies, a specialized contractor with a sole focus on the design and construction of outdoor athletic facilities, including the fields at MetLife Stadium, Cornell University, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
A fundraising campaign is being planned to support the move of the 400-meter track and the other track and field facilities currently located at Butterfield Stadium to Yavits Field. Future upgrades for the stadium under consideration include renovations to the seating areas and the Dick Lyon Press Box.
The project is planned to begin in the spring of 2023, with completion prior to the start of the fall semester and first home football game in the fall.