Plans approved for Granderson stadium
Plans for Curtis Granderson Stadium, a $7 million ballpark pledged by the UIC alumnus and Major League Baseball star, were approved May 29 by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
Granderson, a centerfielder with the New York Yankees, announced his commitment to fund the new facility Feb. 6 at a campus press conference.
“I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to team up with UIC, which has helped me get to where I am today,” Granderson said when he announced the gift, expected to be the largest ever made to UIC athletics.
The stadium, located south of the Physical Education Building, will be home to UIC’s baseball team, where Granderson played outfield for three seasons until he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2002.
The ballpark will host youth league games in partnership with Major League Baseball, the Chicago Public Schools and other youth organizations.
Two Major League Baseball programs, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and the Urban Youth Academy, will be chief partners for the youth initiative, which will include an educational component.
“I started playing baseball when I was 6 years old and friendships I had at that point I still have today,” Granderson said at the February press conference. “You learn teamwork, leadership, discipline and also how to fail and succeed.”
Construction is scheduled to begin this fall, with completion in fall 2014.
The open-air, brick-and-stone ballpark will seat 1,200, with two grassy berms for additional fan seating. The design includes disability seating and press facilities.
“The field is designed to have a ‘wow’ factor,” Granderson said of the ballpark, which will have a view of the Chicago skyline at centerfield.