By Conor Hanlon, Currier Times Staff///
The Curry College athletic facilities have been getting upgrades over the past four months. With the Jack Vallely Diamond getting much-needed bleachers, with construction starting in May, and the Walter M. Katz Field getting a brand-new digital scoreboard in August, just in time for the football team’s home opener.
These two changes were long overdue for both fields, according to Curry athletics officials.
“We knew we would need to replace the old scoreboard about 2-3 years ago,” said Vinnie Eruzione, Curry Athletic Director. “It started to malfunction last spring, and it was decided to get a new scoreboard.”
When the decision to move forward was made, the Athletics department decided to invest in a video board instead of your typical scoreboard.
“We thought the video board would add more excitement to our games at Katz Field as well as give us the opportunity to promote our athletic department, teams and student-athletes better,” Eruzione added.
The Jack Vallely Diamond was in much more desperate need of a place to watch the games. With its awkward location, hedged between the parking lot, softball field, and walkway leading towards the football field, there hasn’t been an ideal location to watch a Curry Colonels baseball game.
Fans would have lawn chairs set up in the parking lot while other parents and students would be standing along the fence down the left field line, with the chance of getting hit with a foul ball very high.
Eruzione described the department’s concern they ran into when putting in bleachers.
“The question always was where and how so that it made the most sense and was most beneficial for our baseball program and its followers,” said Eruzione.
The bleachers are set up directly behind the field’s backstop, go 12 rows back, and are blocked off by the netting. There is even a section for the school’s staff to set up the video camera and scorekeeping table directly behind home plate.
Curry baseball’s head coach is impressed.
“It’s a huge improvement all the way around,” said Paul Bortolotti. “This was a tough place to watch a college baseball game, anywhere. This is a great thing that they’ve done here.”
Bortolotti added that it will pay dividends for a long time to come.
“I think it will entice more students to come to the game and helps enhance the experience of the players themselves, and it’ll help with recruiting down the road,” he said. “It’s more of a college atmosphere. I’m very excited to see and my expectation is that it’s going to draw more people to the game.”
The players on the baseball team are incredibly excited to see how the bleachers change the atmosphere this coming year.
“Having fans by the field rather than sitting in the parking lot will make a massive difference for us as a team,” said pitcher Jack Needham, an MBA student at Curry.
The new scoreboard has received just as much recognition.
“They seem to love it,” Eruzione added, “more we get to learn what it can do, the more we will be able to utilize it [scoreboard] even further.”
These two additions to the complex have been accepted with open arms by the Athletic Department. With the fall season already underway, fans have been able to see the scoreboard in use, but we’ll have to wait until springtime to see the new bleachers in action. The excitement will continue to be there until the first pitch of the Colonels season come March.
For baseball players the countdown has already started to when they’ll see their new bleachers in use.
Categories: Curry Sports