MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Nazarene University has announced a capital project to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. MVNU plans to build a Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium to accommodate varsity and junior varsity soccer teams, the men’s club lacrosse team and future athletic teams.
The $2 million project will include a high-quality turf field, lights, expanded seating, restrooms, concessions, locker rooms, a press box and more.
“The athletic expansion allows us to give dozens of student-athletes the opportunity for a Christian education who may have not felt they had that option before,” said James Smith, Vice President of University Relations. “It also helps us maintain our health as a university by expanding our student base.”
The rising popularity of soccer in our community is evident in the growing number of youth league participants in Knox County and throughout Central Ohio. MVNU wants its premier Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium to be part of the athletic fabric of the community and will pursue collaborative efforts inviting community use of the stadium. By fostering relationships through athletics, MVNU will position itself to recruit quality soccer and lacrosse players who already have a connection to campus. In addition, the Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium will be available for non-athletic campus and community events.
“Athletics is important to the future of MVNU’s long-term enrollment plans. It is also a part of a holistic education,” said MVNU President Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II. “The Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium will further enhance our capacity to attract quality student-athletes. We are especially excited to work in partnership with the local community, as this project unfolds.”
The increased use of the current grass field for practices and competitions is causing wear and tear on the field. This illustrates the need for a stadium that will quickly become a signature facility for the MVNU campus and community. Just as important to university officials, the success of both men’s and women’s soccer on the national level and the increased popularity of lacrosse, this project highlights the relevance of providing student-athletes with a complex that exhibits “Cougar pride.”
“We have quickly realized that our current field simply isn’t adequate for the demands of these five teams,” Smith said. “It also doesn’t allow for expansion of the women’s lacrosse or future junior varsity teams.”
Smith announced plans for the Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium during Homecoming Weekend’s Golden Gala emphasizing $140,148 had been pledged by the Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team. Even more exciting for the university is the pledge from a local donor to match every dollar raised by MVNU up to $1 million. An additional $306,000 in gifts and pledges has already been received.
While many details have yet to be finalized, officials have committed the first $1 million of the campaign to install the new turf field and lights, with a completion goal of Aug. 1, 2019.
“The dream is big, but we can already see the excitement about this project across our campus and around this community. We are excited to see this dream become a reality for MVNU and another signature athletic venue for our local community,” Smith said.