Construction will start in February for the $65 million University of Florida’s (UF) Gators baseball park in Gainesville, pending UF Trustee Board approval.
The project on located the southwest part of the university’s campus adjacent to Dizney Stadium, has a planned completion date of June 2020. The Gators’ first season in the new ballpark will be in 2021.
“This is an exciting day for Gators Baseball and our entire athletic department,” athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. “While our original hope was to have the ballpark available at the beginning of 2020, and therefore available for play that season, this period of rising construction prices has required additional time to finalize the design, and has caused us to adjust our timeline by a few months.
The baseball park and the ongoing $15 million renovation to softball’s Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, along with renovations to the Gators’ track and tennis facilities, are Phase II of the University Athletics Association’s (UAA) Facilities Master Plan. The work at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium is nearing completion, with a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled Feb. 12.
The UAA says in its news release that design work and planning also continues on the Football Training Complex, which is Phase III of the Facilities Master Plan. This transformational project, which is going on the site currently occupied by baseball’s McKethan Stadium, will break ground as soon as the site is available following the Gators’ 2020 baseball season, with a completion goal before the end of 2021. In addition, the UAA is moving forward with plans for significant upgrades to the current football locker room in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which will serve as the game day locker room once the new complex is built.
Funding for Phases I-III of the UAA Facility Master Plan, which total $285 million, includes a target of $155 million in private support. To date, Gator Boosters, Inc. has received nearly $86 million in private gift commitments, marking progress at 55 percent of the necessary philanthropic support for these phases.