Once completed, a $476,000 renovation to Fowler Field, located along Alumni Drive, will designate the area for intramural sports. The money that will come from capital improvement funds at USF will pay to open four intramural fields for students, said Eric Hunter, associate director for the Campus Recreation Center.
Hunter said the cost for the recreational fields was needed to reformat the land, as well as lighting structures and a pavilion.
Chris Marks, intramural sports coordinator, said no plans to construct a storage building were made as of yet with the recreational fields because a majority of the money was needed to restructure the land.
“They had to level out the dirt and sand to make it all even to prevent flooding on the field,” Marks said.
The intramural fields are expected to be about 100 yards long by about 45 yards wide, Marks said. Fowler Field has served as a temporary parking lot during the first week of classes for overflow parking in past years.
Marks said the field should open in the spring for USF students’ general use, and intramural activities will begin next fall. The recreation fields will be used for flag football, soccer, rugby and ultimate Frisbee, which are the intramural program’s main team sports, Hunter said. The program currently has fields for these sports, including baseball and softball, along Sycamore Drive.
About 8,000 students participate in intramural sports, Hunter said. There was a need to expand USF’s intramural program, he said.
“We’ve had six fields to make due with for years,” Hunter said. “We don’t have enough space to support all the groups.”
The Herd of Thunder, USF’s marching band, will continue to use the fields for practices but will now have to share the area with intramural sports.
“Fowler Field was always going to be used for recreational fields it was part of our master plan for the intramural sports program,” Hunter said. “Our fields can’t take it with the same six fields being used day after day.”