Posted by Philip Poole on 2011-04-19

Samford University has scheduled an April 22 grand opening ceremony for its new track and soccer stadium, located across Lakeshore Drive from the main campus. The 9 a.m. ceremony will precede the opening of the 2011 Southern Conference outdoor track and field championships, being hosted by Samford for the first time.

The SoCon championships are the first event being held in the new stadium, which was completed just days ago. It will be the 87th annual SoCon men’s outdoor track and field championships and the 25th for women.

The complex includes a nine-lane track, with a regulation soccer field inside the track. The seating capacity is 1,200, including 360 chair-back seats. A 300-square-foot press box sits atop the grandstand. A 5,000-square-foot support building houses concessions, ticket booth, restrooms, storage and locker rooms.

“We are extremely pleased and proud to have such a first-class facility for our student-athletes in both soccer and track and field,” said new Samford athletics director Martin Newton. “This new stadium is just another example of the commitment to providing our student-athletes everything they need to compete for SoCon championships.”

The stadium replaces track facilities in F. Page Seibert Stadium and the former Samford Soccer Stadium, which is now being revamped for use as part of an expanded student recreation complex.

In addition to being a home venue for Samford athletics, the new stadium also will be used by the university’s concepts and physical activity classes in the core curriculum.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.