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First phase: new soccer field, new field hockey turf, new softball facility.

No new hockey/basketball facility, just some renovations to Alfond. Looks like new turf for football. Discussion of new indoor practice facility/standalone outdoor track facility.

It's clear this gift will help Maine cling to the bottom of Division I, not be any sort of transformation into a competitive athletic program.
If that is it......FAIL. This is the "BIG" announcement? This is why I was apprehensive......
 

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Okay okay, this is better than the BDN's article initially intimated.

Don't get me wrong, I am excited about the field hockey/softball/soccer complexes. It just seemed a bit light for $90M. This whole package looks great. Hope it all works out.

I also hope that the school figures out how to parlay these improvements into increased investment into better success on the ice/court/field.
 

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So, having watched the presentation, here are the Cliff's notes for those who don't have 24 minutes:

1. Soccer: currently the women's program plays in the outfield of the baseball stadium. A new soccer only stadium will have a FIFA approved pitch, stadium seating, and "TV quality lighting." It will be fully enclosed. New locker room for the team in the Memorial Gym.

2. Softball: currently the field is grass. The new field will be synthetic turf, have bricked in dugouts, and a fully enclosed batting pavilion. Stadium seating, enclosed press box, and lighting. New softball only locker room in Memorial Gym. Should really increase the ability to have home games in the Spring.

3. Field Hockey: new venue with field hockey specific turf/irrigation, stadium seating, press box, and lighting. Also getting a new locker room for themselves.

4. Baseball: replacing the current turf. Upgrades to the clubhouse/meeting space/locker rooms. Mahaney was already in pretty good shape.

5. "Speed Dome:" a new enclosed bubble covering 100,000 square feet. Will have a 100 yard turf football field with a 300 meter track. First enclosed 300 meter track in New England. Could host a full track meet. Big enough to use for pretty much anything.

6. Indoor Practice Facility: the Mahaney bubble is past its usable life. This is the replacement increasing the space by 60%, specifically soccer/softball. Will also host winter club/intramural sports.

7. The Pit: minor renovations/all those new locker rooms.

8. Swimming: upgrades to the pool itself/swim & dive locker rooms

9. Basketball: New multipurpose facility located behind the South endzone of the football stadium. 3,000ish seats. Seating designed specifically for basketball. Will have support/team/locker rooms for basketball. "Well past the time to show our commitment to basketball." Facility will also host academic events/conferences and host the department's administrative offices and the Bear Necessities store.

10. Football: New turf. Moving the field towards the home grandstand and sliding the visitor's stands towards the field. The multipurpose facility will have some South endzone seats, and all kinds of locker rooms/gym/etc. in the multipurpose facility.

11. Hockey: Enlarging the concourse/hall of fame area. New video boards/screens/sound system/wifi. Increased TV production. The Shawn Walsh Center will be expanding with a new strength and conditioning center and related amenities, plus new locker rooms for men's and women's hockey.

Wishlist if they fundraise more highlights swimming and diving and academic resource center.

Timeline: small upgrades summer 2021. Fields summer 2022. Need the additional $20M to get the final Alfond match.

I'm a noted Maine athletics skeptic, but these facilities really do look great. I'm excited and hope it works out.
 

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I watched the entire video as well. We should have known not to trust Larry Mahoney of the BDN....guy needs to retire.

Obviously the highlight is the basketball facility.....while it is a bit smallish it looks sweet if they follow through with the plans. I love the way it is incorporated into the South Endzone of Morse Field and the football program. A very cool looking area and complex. And PLEASE keep that wall of glass!

Also the women's sports fields are very well done and make total sense in design and placement. While most fans won't be super excited for this part of the plan....I am really happy for this sports, coaches, student-athletes and support staff.

The Morse Field complex improvements should go a long way to improving the atmosphere and intimacy of football game days. The new football locker rooms, weight room and support facilities will go a long way to keeping UM competitive in the CAA.

Alfond Arena is pretty much lipstick on a pig although the "new" Walsh Center looks really nice and will obviously have a huge impact for the hockey players themselves.

I think that they got a lot of bang for their buck and checked off a lot of boxes......I just hope that UM can follow through and not cut too many corners. Also as a side note.....they need to hire a competent facilities management staff so that these facilities don't fall into disrepair like all UM facilities inevitably do!

It's a great day to be a Black Bear!:)🐻🐾🏀🏈⚽⚾🥎🏑🏒💙
 

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First off, congratulations, Maine.

I’ve always wondered, especially since schools are using their donations for sports beyond football and basketball, why the NCAA continues to limit a sport’s season.

With these new facilities being built, it’s only going to be used for a few months, that makes no sense to me. Why can’t sports like soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse have a full-school year schedule?
 

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An update.....official plans and specs have been released by the University of Maine for the 3 women's sports fields starting construction this summer. The new fields and facilities will cost of approximately $14 million. There is a ton to read and look at if you are into that.

Soccer: UM Soccer IFB Drawings.pdf

Field Hockey: https://umaine.edu/ofm/wp-content/u...s-UM-Field-Hockey-Complex-2022-small-size.pdf

Softball: https://umaine.edu/ofm/wp-content/uploads/sites/225/2022/03/UM-Softball-IFB-Drawings-small-size.pdf

I apologize for the picture quality but here are a few renderings of some specific aspects of these projects:

Rectangle Textile Wood Grass Font
Wood Rectangle Font Space Diagram
Rectangle Circuit component Font Display device Technology
Rectangle Font Circuit component Parallel Electric blue
 

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Man, those will be really nice. I so wish we still had men's soccer. Oh well.
 

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Looking like there is chatter that Chris Markwood and Ashley are interested in coming back to Maine according to Ernie Clark at the BDN.
Did you read the article? It doesn't say that at all, actually.
 

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So, having watched the presentation, here are the Cliff's notes for those who don't have 24 minutes:

1. Soccer: currently the women's program plays in the outfield of the baseball stadium. A new soccer only stadium will have a FIFA approved pitch, stadium seating, and "TV quality lighting." It will be fully enclosed. New locker room for the team in the Memorial Gym.

2. Softball: currently the field is grass. The new field will be synthetic turf, have bricked in dugouts, and a fully enclosed batting pavilion. Stadium seating, enclosed press box, and lighting. New softball only locker room in Memorial Gym. Should really increase the ability to have home games in the Spring.

3. Field Hockey: new venue with field hockey specific turf/irrigation, stadium seating, press box, and lighting. Also getting a new locker room for themselves.

4. Baseball: replacing the current turf. Upgrades to the clubhouse/meeting space/locker rooms. Mahaney was already in pretty good shape.

5. "Speed Dome:" a new enclosed bubble covering 100,000 square feet. Will have a 100 yard turf football field with a 300 meter track. First enclosed 300 meter track in New England. Could host a full track meet. Big enough to use for pretty much anything.

6. Indoor Practice Facility: the Mahaney bubble is past its usable life. This is the replacement increasing the space by 60%, specifically soccer/softball. Will also host winter club/intramural sports.

7. The Pit: minor renovations/all those new locker rooms.

8. Swimming: upgrades to the pool itself/swim & dive locker rooms

9. Basketball: New multipurpose facility located behind the South endzone of the football stadium. 3,000ish seats. Seating designed specifically for basketball. Will have support/team/locker rooms for basketball. "Well past the time to show our commitment to basketball." Facility will also host academic events/conferences and host the department's administrative offices and the Bear Necessities store.

10. Football: New turf. Moving the field towards the home grandstand and sliding the visitor's stands towards the field. The multipurpose facility will have some South endzone seats, and all kinds of locker rooms/gym/etc. in the multipurpose facility.

11. Hockey: Enlarging the concourse/hall of fame area. New video boards/screens/sound system/wifi. Increased TV production. The Shawn Walsh Center will be expanding with a new strength and conditioning center and related amenities, plus new locker rooms for men's and women's hockey.

Wishlist if they fundraise more highlights swimming and diving and academic resource center.

Timeline: small upgrades summer 2021. Fields summer 2022. Need the additional $20M to get the final Alfond match.

I'm a noted Maine athletics skeptic, but these facilities really do look great. I'm excited and hope it works out.
Can someone explain why the proposed basketball facility will only seat "3,000-ish?" Isn't that an admission that there won't ever be enough support for the program for interest for a facility that could hold more? Why not build a 4,500 or 5,000-seat gym/arena?
 

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Can someone explain why the proposed basketball facility will only seat "3,000-ish?" Isn't that an admission that there won't ever be enough support for the program for interest for a facility that could hold more? Why not build a 4,500 or 5,000-seat gym/arena?
Because if you are playing in front of 1,500 fans a 5,000 seat arena looks and sounds depressing

Quick quiz, how many New England schools averaged more than 3,000 fans in 2019?

4. BC, Providence, UConn, and URI.

So, yes, it is fair to admit Maine will never need a 5,000 seat basketball facility.
 
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