Lupton Stadium had a different look when fans arrived for the Frogs’ first home series against Cal State Fullerton last weekend.
The stadium underwent renovations in the off-season, which included wind guards, new fences and fence padding, expanded warning tracks and a new terrace along the right-field side of the field.
The renovations did not go unnoticed by fans who came for the opening series.
Fans such as Kevin Jones said he has been coming to TCU baseball games since 1979.
Jones said he likes the renovations to the stadium and believes that the changes make Lupton one of the top five or 10 stadiums in the country.
“The stadium was awesome to begin with, and now it’s even better,” Jones said.
Mike Atkinson, who was roommates with Jones during their time at TCU in the ‘80s, disagrees and said the renovations are not completely beneficial.
“I think it is great to increase the seating for the fans,” Atkinson said. “But I’m not sure I agree with the [changes made to the] hill and terracing. [The hill] brought a great unique feeling to the stadium.”
The hill to which Atkinson referred was popular among fans and their children. It was a place where they would bring cardboard boxes to slide down on it.
The Hazlewood family said they traveled from Coppell, Texas, to watch the game and was disappointed to discover the absence of the hill.
Their youngest son, Logan Hazlewood, was especially let down. He said he did not believe it at first when his dad told him the hill was gone.
“I brought those big boards. I was really disappointed,” Logan said.
The Hazlewood family said that even though they were discouraged, they would continue to support the Frogs.
Ross Bailey, the associate athletics director for operations, said he spoke with some fans about the renovations and thinks that the fans are happy with the renovations overall.
Bailey added how the changes to the baseball bat have impacted decisions regarding the stadium structure. One such example was bringing in the walls.
“I think we had nine home runs at home last year and twenty-something on the road,” Bailey said.
He also said that he expects the changes to increase home runs as the weather warms up and that fans would be excited.
The renovation of the hill, along with changes to the ballpark such as the new fences, are the first phase of renovations to the stadium, Bailey said. More renovations, including new indoor baseball athletic facilities, are expected to take place at Lupton Stadium after the season ends.