Marshall to open new soccer stadium in August



After a year of playing home games on high school fields, the Marshall University men’s soccer team will have a sparkling new soccer stadium in Huntingdon, W.V., to call home when the season opens in August.

The $5.4 million facility is targeted for completion in time for the start of the season and will be shared by the men’s and women’s teams. The stadium with bleachers seating 1,000 (temporary seating will expand capacity to 1,750) is being built on the site of the former Veterans Memorial Field House, a 6,500-seat facility built in 1950 that once served as the home for Thundering Herd basketball.

Marshall acquired the property on 5th Avenue and 26th Street from the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District, which had maintained the facility since 1996. The university agreed to build a half-acre Veterans Memorial Park on the site as part of the land acquisition deal.

marshallsoccerstadiumaerialDesigned by Kansas City-based AECOM Technical Services, the soccer complex will include a durable FieldTurf playing surface, 500-square-foot press box, 47-space parking lot, coaches offices, locker rooms, a concession area and ticket offices. It replaces a field next to the football stadium where an indoor athletic facility is being built and in addition to having locker rooms next to the field will mean the soccer teams no longer have to practice on the football field.

The Marshall men’s team will open the as of yet unnamed stadium with a friendly against a team of soccer alumni on Aug. 23 and will christen it with the first regular season match against Oakland University on Sept. 13 as part of the Qdoba Invitational, which includes Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and St. Francis University in games on Sept. 13 and 15.

The Herd, 11-5-1 a year ago, face a schedule that 19th-year coach Bob Gray has called the “toughest” he’s ever assembled with the likes of Maryland, Kentucky, Tulsa and five other tournament teams from a year ago. The Herd compete in Conference USA, which has added New Mexico, UNC Charlotte and Old Dominion to an already powerful conference.

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