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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

“Bigger, better, newer”: Texas State reveals vision for ballpark expansion

A+rendered+design+of+the+left+field+bleachers+at+Bobcat+Ballparks+baseball+stadium.

A rendered design of the left field bleachers at Bobcat Ballpark’s baseball stadium.

Following years of sustained excellence, Texas State baseball is ready to take the next steps in becoming one of the NCAA’s elite programs beginning with its stadium. 
On April 10, a $1 million gift was donated to Texas State as part of its proposed $8 million privately-funded expansion project of Bobcat Ballpark. The donation was given by Tyler Sibley, a Texas State alumnus and former All-American second baseman. 
The expansion project will not only expand the seating capacity of Bobcat Ballpark but also significantly upgrade the quality of the team’s facilities. New features include three full-sized indoor batting cages, a fully air-conditioned pitching laboratory, a locker room and game day lounge for both the baseball and softball teams along with several other amenities.
Head coach Steven Trout believes the expansion project will have a seismic impact on his program moving forward.
“It’s humongous for us,” Trout said. “In the day and age in college athletics it’s all about the facility race and trying to get bigger, better and newer. A lot of it is necessity. We’ve needed bigger [batting] cages for a while. The pitching lab is a new technology type thing. Of course, the locker room at the field will be a huge piece. We’ve got some great facilities right now but that’s just going to take our program to the next level.”
According to Texas State President Kelly Damphousse, upgrading the facilities for both the baseball and softball teams was paramount.
“Right now, our softball and baseball players have to get dressed in the UAC then carry their equipment to the baseball or softball park,” Damphousse said. “We want there to be locker rooms right where the park is and to enhance the practice facilities as well.”
Freshman baseball catcher Rashawn Galloway and freshman baseball infielder Chase Mora, both of whom recently experienced the collegiate recruitment process firsthand, said they believe the new facilities will impact Texas State’s recruiting efforts for the better. 
“A lot of what you see in your recruiting process is [the coaching staff] showing you the field, the locker room, what they have to offer and just kind of pitching their case to you on why you should come here,” Galloway said. “A lot of the kids, as they grow up, they see the facilities, they see the uniforms, they see everything that we have. That’s what attracts them initially. So having this establishment built is just going to take our program to that Power Five level that we believe we are.”
Mora said the facilities will make Texas State more competitive on the recruiting trail, allowing the team to compete against more renowned programs for bigger named high school prospects.
“I think these new facilities can take this place to the next level,” Mora said. “Get those bigger commits. Guys who are overlooking our program right now and not really understanding what we’re all about here. Once they understand we’re going to have Power Five facilities, this place can go somewhere really big.”
According to Galloway, the facilities will also be immensely beneficial, not only for incoming players, but players currently on the team.
“I know as soon as this thing is built, I’ll be in there 24/7. Probably won’t even be at my house that much just because it’s going to be so cool,” Galloway said. “Getting to bond with your teammates in such a cool locker room. Going to have a pitching lab, going to have [batting] cages. There’s going to be a lot of hanging out areas. Just team bonding. We already have our team bonding a lot in the locker room that we have now and I just can’t imagine how much elevated that can be with the place they’re going to build.”
The expansion will not only accommodate the players but also the fans. There will be an increased number of stadium seating and field boxes, new box offices for both baseball and softball and an indoor hospitality lounge deck overlooking left field.
According to Damphousse, increasing the number of seats for fans was one of the biggest priorities.
“We just can’t seat everybody in there,” Damphousse said. “At a recent game, we had people standing in the softball seating area peeking over watching the baseball game… there’ll be enhanced seating both in the quality of seating and quantity of seating.” 
The players anticipate the increase number of fan seating will make the atmosphere at Bobcat Ballpark much more electric on game day.
“It’s one hundred percent going to boost the atmosphere,” Mora said. “Even with the smaller teams we play I feel like there’s still going to be a huge turnout with the newer facilities. And then when Texas or TCU or any of the bigger teams come in it’s going to be unbelievable.” 
Currently $1.5 million has been donated to the expansion project following the most recent donation of $500,000 made by Texas State alumnus Chris Rasmussen.
Damphousse believes the athletic department will not have any difficulty being able to raise the remaining $6.5 million needed to complete the expansion project.
“I think once you receive the first gift other people get motivated to give,” Damphousse said. “And once you start building people say ‘okay I want to put my name on this’ and so on. So, part of the funding strategy is to provide options for people to put their names on certain things. So, you can put it on the locker room or on the seating area.”

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  • A rendered design of the Texas State softball locker room at Bobcat Ballpark’s softball field.

  • A rendered design of the new pitching lab at Bobcat Ballpark’s baseball stadium. 

  • A rendered design of the Texas State baseball locker room at Bobcat Ballpark’s baseball field. 

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