It may be located on basically the same site as the old baseball grounds but Cougar Field, the University of Houston's on-campus baseball stadium, is a dramatic move to the future. A great baseball program at the University of Houston has a great ballpark to match.
On February 22, 1995, the UH baseball team moved permanently into one of the top college baseball stadiums in the country. The Cougars' beautiful home is a scaled down version of a major league park and it has already attracted fans from across the state who want to see a game in a great baseball environment.
The seating capacity of the park, containing a fully lighted, grass playing surface, is 3,500. However the stadium can accommodate up to 5,000 fans with a pair of grass berm areas located along the outfield lines. A canopy roof covers most of the stadium seats and there are 35 spaces for wheelchairs.
Seating and access for handicapped fans are convenient with two wide ramps located on each side of the park. Netting encompasses the reserved seating area, so fans can be close to the action, yet safe from sharply hit foul balls.
The stadium houses the Cougars' clubhouse, which includes large, professional style locker rooms and offices for coaches. There is also a training area for on-site sports therapy as well as rooms for equipment, storage and laundry. The most recent addition to the complex is the indoor hitting practice facility on the west end. The practice facility should prove to be among the best in the region.
Visiting teams and umpires can enjoy the trip to Houston as both are treated to separate quality locker room areas.
Located on the upper deck behind home plate is one of the best college press boxes in the country. The press box features booths for radio and television, a 28-seat working press area for writers and ample room to operate the public address and scoreboard. Accommodating the media is an important criteria for Houston to host future NCAA Regional events.
Once the good word about Houston's stadium got around, it didn't take long for the state's high school district and regional tournaments to select Cougar Field as its playoff site. Night after night in the spring, fans for different high school teams from around the region came on campus for playoff games. Of all the different teams from the state tournament, the one winner has been the University for its diamond of a stadium.
Even Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres were impressed with the University's facility when professionals played the Cougars in an exhibition game at Cougar Field in April 1996. As a result, Tony Gwynn Field was built at San Diego State.
"To have a stadium of this caliber is a tremendous boost for our program," said Houston head coach Rayner Noble. "It gives the kids a little extra pride about their team and their own performance."
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