Team Scorpio celebrated the newly renovated and expanded Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium at the University of Florida yesterday with a ribbon cutting prior to an exhibition game against the Japan National Team. Just eight months after construction began, the Lady Gator Softball Team, UF and Athletic Association staff, dignitaries, donors, designers, engineers, fans and the Scorpio team members that brought the buildings to life, gathered to open this stunning state-of-the-art facility.
For the Fans
Staying true to the University of Florida’s collegiate gothic campus architecture the stadium was designed by Walker Architects and Populous. The $15 million project now provides the ultimate fan experience. Inside the gates, Gator fans are greeted by an expanded and elevated press box framing sweeping views of the field. New chairback seating is now covered by expansive Gator blue shade structures that shelter fans from the elements. The addition of a 360-degree concourse unites the entire ballpark while providing unique outfield areas to experience a game. Renovations also include expanded berm seating down the 3rd baseline, a new field level plaza right next to the action, as well as an elevated plaza in left field and one at the concourse level. The overall capacity of the new ballpark has nearly doubled to 2,500. The stadium renovations also include expanded concessions, restrooms and a new team store.
For the Team
In addition to the overall fan experience in and around the field, this championship level team now has championship level amenities. Expanded dugouts, a new covered bullpen in the outfield, and new backstop netting system is just the beginning. The two-time national champions have been delivered a new home that rivals any across the nation. The three-story operations building features beautifully appointed player and coaches’ locker rooms, a large players’ lounge, an expanded athletic training room outfitted with hot and cold tubs, a theatre-style film and team meeting room, and a spacious equipment room. Gator student-athletes and staff now have direct access from the locker room to the dugout to the field. The coaches’ offices, filled with natural light, offer a welcome and reception area for visitors along with a large conference room perfectly designed to feature an awe-inspiring view of the entire ball-park.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Putting this much work into place is less than nine months is a monumental task. It takes focus and dedication. It takes coordination, communication and it takes leadership. But most importantly it takes a team. A team that is committed: 24 hours a day, seven days a week to achieving their goal. There is no denying that this team had a unique motivation. They were inspired every day by the hard work and commitment they saw from another team working right alongside them, the Lady Gators, and by the leadership of their coach, Tim Walton. Nothing is more encouraging than to witness first-hand a team united with so much commitment and passion. They make you believe anything is possible.
Thank you, Coach Walton and the amazing young women who are Gator Softball. Thank you, Scott Stricklin and the incredible staff you lead. Thank you to everyone, and there are so many, who played a role in helping us make this amazing facility a reality. We are eternally grateful. And of course, Go Gators!