AVE MARIA, Fla. — Ave Maria University announced this morning plans to add an artificial turf multi-purpose field to campus that will be home to the Gyrenes football, soccer and lacrosse teams.
The field will cost approximately $650,000 and will be constructed on top of where the current football field is located. The University expects to complete installation of the new field before the Gyrenes’ first home football game on Saturday, September 2, 2017.
“This is a significant announcement in the short history of our athletic department,” said Director of Athletics John Lamanna. “The new synthetic turf field will fill the needs of four sports. We are committed to excellence and growth in mind, body and spirit. The new field will enhance the student-athlete experience by providing excellent practice and game playing conditions and will help in attracting future students to Ave Maria University.”
Rainy season in Southwest Florida coincides with football and soccer seasons and afternoon storms often render the Gyrenes’ grass fields unusable.
“The artificial field will allow for perfect drainage and a consistent surface, both of which are nearly impossible on a grass field in Southwest Florida,” said second-year head football coach Joe Patterson. “The new field will have a transformative impact on the program, especially in regards to our practices and games.”
Ave Maria’s soccer teams and the women’s lacrosse team will also use the new artificial turf field. The field is expected to positively impact recruiting, increase player safety, and improve game time experiences.
Ave Maria’s athletic teams are members of The Sun Conference and compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Ave Maria football program begins a new chapter in 2017 as they will participate in their first season in the Sun Division of the Mid-South Conference.
The Athletic Department at Ave Maria has grown from six varsity level sports in 2008-09, to 16 varsity-level programs for the 2017-18 season, with over 40% of students competing on athletic teams. Visit Ave Maria’s Athletics website for schedules, team rosters and stories: http://www.avemariagyrenes.com.
Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning devoted to Mary the Mother of God, inspired by St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta, and dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service.
The University was founded in 2003 and moved to its permanent campus in the fall of 2007. Ave Maria enrolled 1,102 students for the 2016-17 academic year, including 1,042 undergraduates, and offers 33 majors as well as graduate studies in Theology. Students from 45 states and 20 countries comprise a student body that is approximately 85% Catholic, 25% minority, and evenly-divided between men and women.
AMU’s state-of-the-art campus includes residence halls with a capacity for 1,300 students and rests on a tract of over 300 acres in Southwest Florida near Naples. For more information on Ave Maria University, visit https://www.avemaria.edu.