The TCU Board of Trustees voted last week to approve a donor-funded expansion of the Charlie and Marie Lupton Baseball Stadium, according to a statement on the university’s website.
The plans, which will include the renovation and addition of locker rooms, team rooms and batting cages, will focus on the underneath portion of the stadium below the third-base line concourse and will address the TCU baseball team’s need for more up-to-date amenities as it prepares to move to the Big 12 Conference, Assistant Athletics Director for Operations Ross Bailey said. Adding extra seats along the first-base line and installing a multi-weather surface around the bullpen are also items on the agenda, Bailey said.
Bailey said talks for renovations to Lupton Stadium were already underway before TCU’s decision to move to the Big 12. The Frogs’ move to the conference provided even more reasons to ensure the baseball team had the best possible facilities, so the program could stay among the elite in the nation.
“These discussions were in the works before the Big 12 stuff came into the discussion,” Bailey said. “But obviously now, Big 12 baseball is probably one of the top conferences in the country in baseball. I think this is the next step to continue to keep going forward and stay in the top 15 percent of teams in the country.”
Bailey said no timetable has been set on the renovations, but he guaranteed they will not be ready for this upcoming season. First, the university must secure the funds needed for construction to begin.
“When we get the money,” Bailey said of the project’s timetable, “we have to go fundraise and go get the money.”
Bailey said there are three basic steps of design. Right now, TCU has just entered phase one.
“We’re barely at schematic design, which is basically called fancy napkin designs,” Bailey said.
Bailey said the renovations will be a product of both the university seeing a need to be addressed as well as the success and growth of the baseball program under head coach Jim Schlossnagle.
“Obviously, the popularity of the program, the revenue of the program that is generated [played a part in the renovation plans].”
The stadium, which hosted the NCAA Regionals the past two seasons, was built in 2003 and was most recently renovated prior to last season, when upper deck seating was added to increase its capacity to 4,500.