Upgraded: Sherman Field ready for fall football and soccer seasons
HOUGHTON — There is one group of “players” who will be much more involved in this year’s home football and soccer games at Michigan Technological University’s (MTU) Sherman Field. Those players are the fans.
In April, ground was broken for the first phase of a $3 million stadium project. Construction crews have been working diligently over the summer to put in new bleachers for 2,100 fans in the stadium that first opened in 1981. Sherman Field’s parking facilities have been updated to comply with American Disability Act (ADA) regulations in this first phase as well. Finally, concrete has been added for the facility’s VIP Pavilion.
According to MTU’s Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret, the project is on schedule. Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed around the week of Aug. 13.
Sanreget pointed out that this project is being funded by privately-donated money.
“A lot of it is coming from football alumni and friends,” she added.
With the Huskies being just a few weeks away from the first football game at Sherman Field, football coach Steve Olson is excited about the stadium’s face lift.
“It is going to be a 100 percent improvement to the overall stadium environment and game-day experience,” said Olson. “Instead of sitting on grass, as they have for many years now, fans will be able to sit on a nice set of bleachers.”
Olson added that having the funding of the project by football alumni is a real encouragement for him and his team.
“They (alumni) believe in us and the program and want us to succeed.” he said.
Equally excited about the improvements is MTU’s women’s soccer coach Michelle Jacob.
“Aesthetically it will look good, but more importantly it will bring the fans closer to the field,” said Jacob. “We have such a good fan base and the closer and louder they can be to cheer us on, the better.”
Phase 2 for the stadium, which is named for the late Donald P. Sherman, a former athletic director and coach at MTU in the late 1930s, is set to begin in the spring of 2019. It will include a expanded press box, coaching boxes, restrooms and concessions.
The Huskies women’s soccer team will kick off their 2018 campaign at home at Sherman Field on Aug. 30 against Minnesota Duluth. On Sept. 8, the Huskies’ football season will open at home as they will play host to Hillsdale.