The space of the new IM fields (Photo: Nolan Ryan / Col­legian)

Hayden Park will open three new sports fields next fall. The three fields, one of which is a practice field, are cur­rently under­going prepa­ration and seeding for use when they are open for campus-wide use in Sep­tember. The fields, however, are specif­i­cally being designed with intra­mural sports in mind.

The new fields will measure 140 x 90 meters. They will be used in addition with Simpson Field, located behind Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium. In the past, the area was used for parking spaces, according to Hayden Park Director Bill Lundberg. After getting input from stu­dents, the college found a need for more soccer fields in addition to those at Simpson Field, he said.

“This area is going to be ded­i­cated to ath­letic com­pe­ti­tions that are non-varsity sports,” Lundberg said. “Things like IM football could take place; things like rugby and soccer. We have a soccer field down at Simpson Field which is used by the Academy and our club soccer teams. They would con­tinue using that field because it’s focused for them. The IM fields could be used as practice fields for dif­ferent sports.”

Director of Recre­ational Sports and Ath­letic Facil­ities Brad Kocher said in an email that these new fields will be an excellent new resource for stu­dents to “get outside and be active.”

“The fields will be used for IM, club sports, and all stu­dents looking for an area to be active. Hayden park has become a hub for outdoor activity,” he wrote. “The goal is to con­tinue to make Hayden park an outdoor do-all activity space for stu­dents.”

Junior Jessie Wilcox, an assistant director for Campus Recre­ation, believes the new fields will help stu­dents get more use out of Hayden.

“With all the work they’ve been doing on it, it’s been really cool to have more stuff out there,” she said. “It will be good for IM, club soccer, and every­thing else to have their own field. We won’t have to work around the football team’s schedule. It’ll be really good for getting out there and having our own space to plan stuff.”

Although the fields open in six months, there’s still main­te­nance to be done. Lundberg said seeding will happen this spring and summer.

“It’s set up with an irri­gation system; That’s going to be important for the growth and main­te­nance,” he said.

Lundberg said the need for the new fields came up within the past year.

“The college made a com­mitment to those fields,” he said. “There was a big amount toward that effort. There wasn’t any par­ticular fundraising. We’re really grateful to our senior admin­is­trators, espe­cially as we orga­nized and designed them. I’m really enthused for the stu­dents and the staff and their fam­ilies. It’s some­thing that will be a great added venue for Hayden Park.”

According to Lundberg, the fields will be scheduled for campus events, pri­marily, but stu­dents can work with sched­uling to reserve times to visit the fields for per­sonal use. He said, however, that the plan is for the fields to be “very acces­sible and useful” to all stu­dents.

Campus Rec already has plans for the fall. According to Wilcox, they are lining up games and tour­na­ments on the fields.

“Our first sport we do, starting in Sep­tember, will be intra­mural football,” she said. “Then we’re pos­sibly going to have soccer tour­na­ments, like our vol­leyball tour­na­ments. We’re going to do our intra­mural soccer out there next spring.”

Lundberg is glad for the wide variety of uses the fields can offer campus.

“We are super excited about that fact that we can accom­modate Student Activ­ities’ special events and Campus Rec events,” he said.

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Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan is a junior from northern Michigan, studying English and journalism. He is this year's News Editor at the Collegian, as well as a student writer with the marketing department. This summer, he is interning with the editorial and news sections of the Detroit News. You can find him reading good poetry and trying desperately to be better at appreciating art. Email: | Twitter: @NolanRyan76