Regents approve building new soccer stadium

Work will begin immediately on the design of a new U-M soccer stadium, following Board of Regents approval of the project during Thursday's meeting at UM-Dearborn.

The stadium will be built on the site of the current competition field, one of three soccer fields added in 2008. The fields are west of the tennis complex on South State Street in Ann Arbor.

The project will add grandstand seating for 2,200, two team locker rooms, restrooms and concessions for spectators, and a press area. The $6 million project will be funded by Intercollegiate Athletics resources and gifts.

Bill Martin, director of intercollegiate athletics, said the goal is to create a European-style stadium with seating on both sides of the field. Some of those seats could be covered depending on costs, he said. The current field has only temporary bleachers.

He said the project is a "huge statement on the commitment of the university to the soccer programs."

The first step will be the design of the facility, which will be done by the Michigan architectural firm Jickling Lyman Powell Associates Inc. Schematic drawings will be presented at a future regents meeting for approval.

"What was once a distant dream, is now close to becoming a reality," says U-M men's soccer coach Steve Burns. We are grateful for a stadium that is worthy of our players and follows in the great tradition of Michigan athletics. Our program will soon have a home that we can call our own and this energy and excitement is incredibly uplifting for everyone involved."

U-M women's soccer coach Greg Ryan says, "Building a soccer-specific, state-of-the-art stadium for our programs and players is a clear demonstration of the commitment Michigan has for student athletes. This outstanding stadium will benefit our players, fans, and will play a key role in helping us recruit future quality student athletes as we continue to rebuild the U-M women's soccer program."