RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Officials with Louisiana Tech University have decided to rebuild J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park at its current location.
The announcement was made Thursday afternoon.
“We looked at a number of sites in conjunction with the University as related to its strategic plan,” said LA Tech Director of Athletics Tommy McClelland in a news release sent to KNOE. “Considering all factors, we decided it was best to remain at this historical, unique location. The combination of the student apartments beyond the outfield wall and the railroad tracks that run behind the fences makes for such a great setting for our fans to enjoy Tech baseball.”
The field suffered extensive damage after Ruston was hit by an EF3 tornado in April. Damage was done to JC Love Field, the Lady Techster Softball Complex, the Lady Techster Soccer Complex, the LA Tech Tennis Complex, and the Jim Mize Track and Field.
The news release goes on to say:
The Bulldog baseball and the Lady Techster softball teams were forced to play their final home series at alternate sites due to the severe damage to those facilities.
“The stadium remaining in the same location is great news to us,” said Bulldog baseball coach Lane Burroughs. “I know our players and coaches are excited about it. JC Love Field is such a unique and cozy setting for college baseball. Our players love it, and our fans love it.”
Baseball, softball and soccer will all have to compete during the 2019-20 season at off-campus sites as their facilities will not be ready in time. Burroughs said he is looking forward to the Bulldogs playing at a new-look JC Love Field in 2021.
“I know that everyone has been eager to know a direction, including us as coaches,” said Burroughs. “It is human nature to want to know everything now, but this has been a learning process. I just want to thank Dr. Guice, Tommy McClelland, Adam McGuirt and everyone who is working so diligently to make sure this is done correctly. I know it is still early in the process, but we are excited about what the final product will do for our baseball program.”
McClelland said that no timetable has been determined for construction on the baseball, softball or soccer complexes. He did confirm that sites for softball and soccer are still being evaluated. Repairs on the tennis complex and the track and field complex are expected to begin during the fall quarter.