Indoor softball, baseball training facilities will be added to McCombs Field

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The front entrance to the Red and Charline McCombs Field, home to the UT softball team as seen on Sept. 18, 2019. Within the next 30 days, construction will begin on a new indoor training facility for the baseball and softball team.   

Photo Credit: Rachel Olvera | Daily Texan Staff

Baseball and softball players will soon be able to avoid the Texas heat because new extensions to the Red and Charline McCombs Field will add an indoor training facility for both teams.

The facility will include a pitching lab, batting cages and a new weight room, said Kevin Rodriguez, assistant sports information director. 

The project will extend the existing stadium to the northwest, costing an estimated $9.9 million, said Veronica Trevino, media manager for financial and administrative services. She said this project is planned to be complete by July 2020.

UT is currently one of the few universities in the Big 12 Conference that does not have an indoor softball and baseball training facility, said John Bianco, senior associate athletics director of communication. Currently, both the softball and baseball teams practice on the outdoor fields, which are also used for games. In order to compete with other programs in the Big 12 Conference, athletic director Chris Del Conte said the teams need these
facilities to train.

“Our goal for all of our sports will always be to be a top 10 program,” Del Conte said in an email. “Our expectations are high, and it’s our job to provide our coaches and student-athletes with the resources necessary to
compete at the highest level.”

Head softball coach Mike White said the facilities are an important step towards
developing the team’s success.

“We are so grateful that we’ll be upgrading our softball facilities,” White said. “It’s a critical step in the growth of our program and a tremendous asset that will benefit us greatly in many ways.”

 

Christopher Marks, team lead for Project Management and Construction Services, said the upgraded facility will also include a team locker room, lounge, meeting room, coaches’ offices and a lobby area. He said construction will first begin in the softball training facilities in McCombs Stadium but plans are developing to add extensions the baseball training facilities in
the future.

The project is still in the preconstruction phase, but Project Management and Construction Services will be starting
construction in the next 30 days, Marks said. He said construction services must first relocate the existing facilities, such as the parking lot, to make room for the extension. He said some aspects of the project are still under review, such as the pitching lab, and will be starting at a later date.

“Both projects are called player development, but one is softball and one is baseball,” Marks said. “It is part of the athletics master plan for each of those varsity sports.”

Plan II sophomore Whitney Patterson said she has been to many sporting events and thinks it is a good decision that Texas Athletics is investing resources on teams other
than football. 

“It’s great that they are expanding their facilities,” Patterson said. “It’s important that collectively, as a school, we give attention to teams other than football. Anything that will make the school a more attractive option for great players to come is good for the school overall.”