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April 2008

Release Date: April 8, 2008

ASU Ups Ante for New San Angelo Stadium Field House

As the dream of a new field house for San Angelo Stadium comes closer to reality for the San Angelo Independent School District, the Angelo State University Athletics Department is pitching in since any improvement in stadium facilities helps out Rams football as well.

As a result, the new leasing contract will mean up to $15,000 a year in additional funds annually for the next five years to the SAISD athletic program to support the new field house.

“San Angelo Stadium is our home, too,” said Kathleen Brasfield, ASU’s athletic director, “and we wanted to do our part to help the new field house become a reality.”

In past years, the university has paid $2,000 per game to use the facility with SAISD retaining the concession rights. Under the new agreement suggested by ASU President Joseph C. Rallo, ASU would pay a flat fee of $25,000 per year and still maintain the concession rights. With five ASU home games scheduled this football season, for instance, SAISD will have an additional $15,000 to go toward the new facility.

SAISD Superintendent Dr. Carol Ann Bonds said, “SAISD is extremely grateful to Angelo State for the contributions they will be making over the next five years to the field house project. We are honored by their commitment and look forward to meeting mutual goals.”

“This is not just about ASU or SAISD,” ASU President Rallo said, “but the entire community because a modern field house is an economic development tool that can help bring to the community additional high school playoff games that we are now losing because of the existing facilities.”

San Angelo Convention and Visitor Bureau estimates put the economic impact of a football playoff game at a minimum of $70 per person. While San Angelo Stadium has been a regular venue for six-man games as well as some 1A and 2A schools, bigger schools with their larger fan bases – and greater economic impact – have not utilized San Angelo Stadium in recent years. Attracting bigger schools would mean more money into the local economy.

Under consideration by SAISD is an approximately 30,000-square-foot facility that would provide four dressing rooms for visiting teams as well as facilities for Central High School athletic teams. Though state-of-the-art when they were constructed 52 years ago, the existing field house in recent years has experienced various infrastructure problems.

The ASU support underscores longstanding cooperation between the university and SAISD.

SAISD Athletic Director Rex Scofield said, “A new 30,000-square-foot field house will ensure that San Angelo Stadium is one of the best sporting venues in West Texas. Both Angelo State and SAISD will continue to work to improve this facility for our student athletes.”

“Something to keep in mind,” Brasfield said, “is that Rex Scofield and I have always worked together regarding facilities use. We have always tried to cooperate to ensure our student-athletes and fans have the best venues possible.”

While much of that mutual cooperation has been contractual, there have also been tradeoffs or impromptu agreements to provide backup facilities on short notice when the occasions dictated.

For last year’s NCAA regional softball tournament hosted by ASU, the Central Softball Field was the backup facility. Should scheduling conflicts arise with Foster Field, Central’s Nathan Donsky Field is a potential backup for the Ram baseball team.

Likewise, ASU has made facilities available to SAISD teams. This spring, for instance, the ASU Softball Field served as a neutral site for a game between the Central and Lake View softball squads. Both the university and school district have used each other’s soccer facilities. Additionally, multiple events in SAISD’s San Angelo Relays have been run at ASU’s Multipurpose Sports Complex, which has also hosted the school district’s junior high track meet.

ASU’s facilities include the San Angelo Youth (SAY) Baseball Complex on Arden Road. The SAY complex, which includes a softball field, two baseball fields and a clubhouse, has been utilized for SAISD practices, junior varsity games and freshman contests.

“Lots of those kinds of cooperation happen under the radar,” Brasfield said, “but they are crucial for the success of both the university’s and the school district’s athletic programs. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with SAISD because of the mutual benefits to our student-athletes and our fans.”