The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Filling the Big Hole in the Ground

The first of May is finally here; a time for St. John’s students to prepare for finals and look forward to four months of summer vacation.

While the 2002 spring semester comes to an end, construction on Belson Soccer Stadium shows no signs of letting up.

At the start of the 2002 season, both the men’s and women’s soccer programs will have a new field to call their own.

The newest addition to the St. John’s campus will have an all-grass field, seat approximately 3,000 spectators and establish itself as one of the top soccer facilities in the Big East, as well as the country.

“In terms of the Big East, Belson Soccer Stadium is an outstanding, first rate facility that will match up with every school,” associate vice president for Athletics Kathy Meehan said. “The stadium is a close, intimate setting. I think that fans will be highly attracted to the stadium’s features, and feel close to the action on the field.”

The state of the art facility will include a hall of fame room for the men’s and women’s programs, a press box, private suites and a media room. “These features will be completed sometime in the near future,” Meehan said.

Construction on the $6 million project will continue through the summer, and is on schedule.

“Construction is on schedule for the Sept. 6 tournament played at St. John’s,” director of Facilities Erin McDonald said.

“Thanks to the fortunate weather we have had,” added Meehan, “everything is moving along smoothly.”

At press time, the platform is being built. The stadium will be located on a raised platform, nine feet higher than the baseball field, with parking underneath next to The Ballpark at St. John’s.

“We are in the process of excavating and putting the foundations down for parking,” said McDonald. “Shortly after the parking is erected, construction will begin on the field turf, lights, seating and sound system.”

The men’s and women’s soccer teams are looking ahead to a new season, as well as a new era, at SJU. The men’s team will look to continue their winning ways of a season ago. The Johnnies played superb soccer all season long, winning the Big East Tournament, and carrying their success all the way to the Final Four. Belson Soccer Stadium’s high caliber is a perfect fit for the Red Storm.

“It is always very difficult to produce fan support for other sport programs besides basketball,” Meehan said of the lack of fan support for the soccer teams at DaSilva Field last year.

“We are always looking forward to getting students involved in athletics,” Meehan continued. “We feel that the combination of Belson Soccer Stadium and SJU’s success last season is a proper way of reaching out to SJU students.”

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