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OSU to construct new baseball complex

For Oklahoma State University fans who were a bit miffed at missing out on the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, this week has gone a long way toward easing the pain.

First, the Cowboys beat Oklahoma, 7-1, in the first Bedlam baseball game on Tuesday, then Wednesday it was announced OSU had signed hoops coach Mike Boynton to a new contract with increased salary to $1.6 million a year and Thursday the coup de Gras, a new baseball stadium was officially announced.

OK, so many OSU fans had already seen pictures of the dirt work being done on the facility, but an official announcement was delayed several times for unannounced reasons.

The new stadium will be state-of-the-art and is being built at the corner of Washington Street and McElroy Road and the goal is to be playing games there in 2020.

About the only thing missing was an announcement about a naming sponsor and local rumors that it was going to be Joe Abshere Field have been dispelled by the former OSU catcher himself. 

No, this seems to be a project with a few major donors, but many more were smaller donors such as Abshere, who loved every minute of his time on campus and on road trips as a walk-on backup catcher and remains an avid fan these days, making as many games as his busy schedule allows.

As one might expect, the facility will be built with similar materials that grace the other athletic facilities, and like Boone Pickens Stadium, the new home of the Cowboys will include amenities that cater to fans and players alike. 

According to reports, the complex will include nearly 3,500 permanent seats, 13 suites and 400 premium seats in dedicated club club seats and suite areas. Seating can be expanded to 8,000 if the Cowboys start winning championships like they did during the glory years.

Like is now the case with every new athletic facility, the park will feature a 2,000-square foot video board that will allow for top-of-the-line graphics and video content to further enhance the game day experience. And another must for fans, a large parking lot that will accommodate more than 600 vehicles beyond center field. 

Architects have also incorporated a playground area and an outfield plaza space that highlight the new family-friendly concepts. The concourse area encompasses the entire playing field and features restroom and concession stands down the first-base and third-base lines, plus restrooms and spaces for temporary options such as food trucks in the outfield. 

Other features of the concourse area are tailgating tents, refreshment areas down both the right field and left field lines, a dedicated student section with special loge seating and terrace seating in the outfield that will serve families with young children and groups looking for space and the ability to move around freely while watching games.

The announcement was a blessing to head coach Josh Holliday.

"Our vision was to build a facility that would allow us to develop players at the highest level, teach leadership concepts and principles, embrace the team concept and provide a first-class experience for our loyal fans and alumni," said Holliday. "When we set out to do this, we wanted to do it with our Stillwater community in mind and capture the same game day passion we see on display each Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium and throughout the winter at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The end result was exactly what we wanted. We accomplished our goal, and it is beyond anything I could have envisioned."

Despite a natural grass playing surface, drainage is always a concern, and designers made sure to add the best drainage system available.

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