BY MARK DAVIS
Overwhelming is an understatement for what fans, athletes and coaches of Salisbury University are about to endure this coming spring.
It will be the new nest for the Sea Gulls men’s and women’s lacrosse team, field hockey team and football team, but more importantly, it will be an eye catching add-on to the greatness the university offers.
The turf stadium mimics the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. It will have an elevator that leads to gift shops, concession stands, exhibits that illustrate the history and facts about the athletic programs from years before, a press box and even suites for loyal fans.
For many athletes, the stadium will act as a new home, and a chance to showcase some of the top Division III athletes that Salisbury is famous for housing.
Salisbury football head coach Sherman Wood will finally get a chance to coach in a new stadium for the first time since coming to Salisbury in 1999, an opportunity he is extremely excited about.
“I haven’t seen anything new in the stadium since I played,” Wood said. “I remember having the old scoreboard. I remember having the grass field, the one side of the bleachers. To be here and to actually see a new stadium being built is very exciting; but more importantly, I’m real happy for our current student athletes. Obviously, it defiantly helps out recruiting as well.”
Support for this project came from everywhere, student representatives, staff, alumni and also the community. The stadium will bring a larger audience and support for player. Crowds will be drawn to the stadium to see experience athletics in a way Salisbury fans have never been able to before.
“I believe if we can get the faculty staff and student government folks to come out, the sororities, the fraternities and have a nice student section just like they do at the basketball games, I think it would be awesome,” Wood said.
Set to open at the end of March, the new stadium will offer a bridge for the community and the university. It will act as a setting the two can come together and bond over something special.
After coaching at Salisbury the last 16 years, and playing there from 1980-83, Wood appreciates the history the old Sea Gull Stadium brought, but admits he’s excited to call the new stadium the home of the Sea Gulls for years to come.
Salisbury athletes, who have had to deal with outdated locker rooms and facilities will finally get to play in an updated atmosphere. Freshman safety Shane Gaines feels the new stadium will bring a new attitude to athletes and coaches who get to enjoy the benefits after enduring the hardships of theold stadium.
“It will be a relief to the players who will have access to the stadium’s state of the art locker rooms,” Gaines said.
In the past, athletes must take walks from campus, through the tunnel, past the Wayne Street garage, over the river and through the woods just to reach the stadium. The new stadium rids the team of a long and tedious walk while carrying all their equipment. It will now provide easy access on and off the field.
Even opponents will have better experiences when they travel to Salisbury. Both locker rooms are big enough to fit both teams comfortably on each side of the stadium. This will cause less conflict with the locker rooms that were previously used on campus.
The atmosphere should be overwhelming for athletes as they play their first game in the new stadium. The athletes at Salisbury believe they have always worked hard to perform on the field and in the classroom.
The new stadium will help the Seagulls bring new beginnings to their program after winning CAC championship games, clinching conference championships and overall, playing good games in front of loyal fans.
Excitement is in the air, and Sea Gull Stadium will be a symbol of Salisbury with athletes, coaches, fans and faculty representing