The new Alex Box Stadium artist rendering
Photo by: LSUsports.net, LSU Athletics Publications
LSU Unveils Architectural Renderings of New Stadiums
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Published: July 26, 2006, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:21 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- LSU athletics director Skip Bertman unveiled architectural renderings Wednesday of LSU's new baseball and softball stadiums. Watch the archived video of the press conference now in LSUsports.net's Geaux Zone powered by USAgencies.

Not a member of the Geaux Zone? Join now to watch this press conference along with live LSU events throughout the 2006-07 athletics season.

Ground breaking for both projects is scheduled for November with first pitch in each new stadium slated for the 2008 season.

"This is the next logical step in building upon the success of our baseball and softball programs," said Bertman, who built the Tiger baseball program as head coach from 1984-2001 and won five national championships. "LSU fans, the best fans in America, deserve outstanding college baseball and softball facilities.”

The New Alex Box Stadium will be located at the corner of Nicholson Drive and Gourrier Lane, about 200 yards south of the current site of Alex Box Stadium, and will seat 8,500 fans.

The New Tiger Park softball stadium will be located on Skip Bertman Dr., across from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

In the New Alex Box Stadium, the Tiger baseball team will enjoy 6,000 additional square feet of locker and meeting room space, new batting cages and all the amenities necessary to field a consistent winner.
 
With 700 more seats under roof, 7,000 additional square-feet of restroom accommodations, 3,000 additional square feet of concession stands, expanded ticket booths, an arcade and novelty shop, children's play grounds, a Hall of Fame and a Club Lounge, the New Alex Box Stadium will also provide a comfortable home for the LSU baseball faithful.

A Comparison of Ballparks

Seating

 
Old Alex Box
New Alex Box

Total Seats

7,660

8,500

Grandstand (under roof)

2,800

3,582

Bleachers

4,522

4,462

Gold

397

712

Purple

41

166

Amenities

 
Old Alex Box
New Alex Box

Restrooms

2,000 sq. ft.

9,274 sq. ft.

Concession stands

2,200 sq. ft.

5,000 sq. ft.

Arcade

0 sq. ft.

500 sq. ft.

Suites

0 sq. ft.

(2) 900 sq. ft.

Club Lounge

0 sq. ft.

(1) 1,800 sq. ft.

Team Area

3,000 sq. ft.

9,380 sq. ft.

Press Area

250 sq. ft.

2,000 sq. ft.

Hall of Fame

0 sq. ft.

1,900 sq. ft.

The New Tiger Park will feature 1,289 seats – including 587 chair-back seats – and the capability of accommodate 1,200 more LSU softball fans on an outfield berm.

The berm/earthwork package was completed last year and has been settling in preparation for construction.

The softball stadium will also feature first-class team facilities, including a locker room, team lounge, meeting facility, training facility, equipment room, indoor batting cages and umpire locker rooms.

All seats in the New Tiger Park will be angled toward the playing field, and the facility will include an open concourse with concessions areas and video monitors.

Adequate press facilities and club seating or private suites will be included in each new stadium, plus enhanced lighting for night and televised games. The stadiums will also be designed to allow for future expansion.

All LSU fans will have the opportunity to participate and keep up with the news surrounding the planning and construction phases of the projects at www.MakeYourPitch.net, the official web site of the New Alex Box Stadium and of the new softball facility.

BASEBALL/SOFTBALL STADIUM PRESS CONFERENCE
July 26, 2006

Athletics Director Skip Bertman

On the new stadiums and the history of Alex Box...

“This is exciting for me to have the actual baseball and softball stadiums laid out and have a chance for you to see them. It means a lot to me. Some 24 years ago I started out and the first thing I did is I wanted to find out who Alex Box was. I was able to do that easily. He was not only president of the student body, but in 1938 he was a football, basketball and baseball player, and obviously an exceptional young man. He was killed when his tank went over a mine in North Africa in 1942. That meant a lot to me. Now it is time for us to reward these excellent coaches, these excellent athletes and athletes to come, and most of all to reward our fans. The fan base at LSU in softball is huge and in baseball is the biggest in NCAA history. The fans have been so outstanding. I think that the fans at the new Alex Box and at the new Tiger Park for softball are the real winners.”

On proposed renovations to the existing Alex Box Stadium...

“Let’s get to it. The first portion of this, and I’ll give you a little history, was let’s fix Alex Box. Let’s fix it. And we did that. We put out a bid for a project. The research project was won by Trahan Architects. Trey Trahan did about six months worth of work for much more than the bid. He absorbed a lot of cost because he knew what this meant to me, and here’s what he came up with. Because of the trees, because of the streets Nicholson and Skip Bertman, because of the apartment buildings and of course because of the oak trees, there was very little room to move the Box. But he did everything that he could, and he came up with a very nice remodel of the Box. It would take three years to finish it. The cost was $13.7 million, and there are all these factors, so let’s say $14 million. This was pre-Katrina. Add 30 percent and this thing could cost over $18 million, but most importantly and for all fans and for people, please, there’s no place for the baseball team to play. They can’t play a 100 percent road schedule. Very few baseball stadiums are built on the same location, but especially when one was built in 1938. It just won’t work, but I tried I really did.”

On the location of the new baseball stadium...

“The new baseball stadium is about 250 yards south of Alex Box. It has exactly the same location in terms of wind and home plate and left field and pitcher’s mound. There are about 8,500 open-air natural grass with a great view. There is nothing blocking anybody’s view. Remember it’s set up at the site of the LSU Golf Course. It’s located at the corner of Nicholson Drive and Gourrier. It has over 1,300 parking spaces on site and approximately 50 RV spaces with electrical hook-ups. An additional 2,200 parking spaces are available in surrounding lots. The ball park orientation, as I said, is just like Alex Box. It’s got some unbelievable tailgating opportunities. The indoor batting and hitting is 100 percent indoors and not just for hitting. When you take the nets up you can do pitching. Of course, even infield. It’s big enough to do the entire infield.”

On the amenities of the new baseball stadium...

“A total of 3,500 seats are under a roof. We wanted to accommodate the fans. The present Alex Box has about 2,870 seats under a roof. There are 712 in the gold seating, and the present Alex Box has 397. There’s enhanced ADA seating. There are only two suites, but there’s room to fit four more suites on each side. There’s room to increase attendance with a burm. We can put the berm in and add 1,000 to 1,500 more seats. Fan comfort is important to me. There’s 2,000 square feet for the LSU Baseball Hall of Fame, because I don’t want to forget about the Box. There will be a lot of the Box in the LSU Hall of Fame. There’s two children’s play areas and a state-of-the-art video arcade. There are 10 public restrooms – twice the number at the existing Alex Box. There are twice as many concession stands. The concourse, which I consider very huge like Zephyr Field, you can stand and watch the game and not block anybody’s view. That’s urgent for me and I think for the fans. The concourse is open to the playing field on the second level, so as soon as you walk up you see the field immediately. Video monitors are everywhere and there are even more amenities. Right now, there are just under 500 people on a waiting list for baseball. So, obviously, when we sell some 6,700 season tickets we can accommodate people.”

On what the land at the current Alex Box Stadium will be used for...

“I think that the old stadium, what to do with the Alex Box. It could be football parking and also benefit the athletic department or the Tiger Athletic Foundation. But that’s not our main goal. What to do with it though? We could leave up the existing structure besides the bleachers in the left field and right field and still park there and pave the rest. We could then have a locker room area that could be converted into a gift center or a Hall of Fame. We’ve got two great restrooms for sure. Maybe there could be a concert or some kind of an amphitheatre event that would be placed here. Of course, it would be great during football as well. Or we could take it down and leave a pavilion of some kind as a memorial to what went on there for 68 years because that’s important to me. We’re going to have a group meeting from the Tiger Athletic Foundation and the athletic department, baseball alumni and of course other school representatives and we’re going to make a decision in the best interest of Louisiana State University of what to do.”

On the cost of the baseball stadium...

“The cost of this stadium is a bond for $23 million. I’ve been in hundreds and hundreds of stadiums and I’ve looked and searched to find the things that we need for fans. This stadium costs about $17 million. The reason it cost more than $17 million in the bond is, of course, the bond cost itself, the post-Katrina expense that is approximately $2 million and the parking itself cost $1.3 million. We’re building an economical stadium, but we’re building it from scratch. We’ve got to bring water from across the street and electricity. There’s nothing there under the lot right now. The infrastructure and pre-construction is going for the baseball field and softball field as well.”

On the new softball stadium...

“Let me talk to you a little bit about softball. Yvette (Girouard) worked for 20-plus years at another school where she raised her own money and did everything. No one deserves a stadium more than this coach. This ballpark was built in conjunction with what Yvette wanted because she knows more about it than the rest of us. This stadium has 1,289 seats with chair backs and bleacher combination, but it has 1,200 berm seats. So, if you drive down Skip Bertman Drive and you look south going toward the school, you’ll see this hill. A berm, according to the architects, has to be there for nine months to a year to settle. The stadium will be built on this berm. Of course, people behind home plate will have a great view of Tiger Stadium. We’ve already paid for the berm. They’re going to have locker rooms, team lounge, meeting rooms, training facilities, equipment rooms, indoor batting cages and umpire locker rooms. The accessibility for them is pretty easy. I think what’s really going to happen that’s exciting for me and the vision that I have is that when the softball field is finished, we’re going to move next door to the soccer complex and we’re going to put a very very nice façade for soccer. The lot right next to the softball field will be paved and will be a great space.”

On the cost of the softball stadium...

“The cost of this stadium initially was $5.2 million. The post-Katrina prices rose immediately $3 million, and the rest came in the bond fees because we couldn’t afford it anymore. The athletic department paid $5 million for fixing the PMAC. We were going to do it for softball, but the thing went over $5 million and we couldn’t afford it so we put it into the bond. That delayed it a year and a half for Yvette, who is very patient as I’ve said before.”

On the amenities of the softball stadium...

“She’s got 587 chair back seats and 684 bench seats, and of course 1,200 on the berm. She has the enhanced ADA seating and an exterior patio area and suite that’s really cool that you can stand on the roof and watch all the action above her office. Fan comfort, of course, is big for me and she’s built a tremendous following. All seats are angled toward the playing field like baseball. You don’t have to turn your head to see this any longer. There’s a concourse, again, that’s open where you can stand and watch the game. There is twice the number of public restrooms, 200 square feet of novelty and concession stands. There’s two concession stands instead of one. There are video monitors throughout the concourse, and of course a great scoreboard and wonderful views of Tiger Stadium.”

On when ground will be broken for both stadiums...

“Now everybody knows that Nov. 1 is breaking ground date. We’re going to break ground Nov. 1 on both stadiums and have them ready for the first pitch of 2008.”

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