Friday, April 12, 2013

Steps made to bring multipurpose stadium to PLU

By Nichole Thompson, Guest Writer

The possibility of a new multipurpose stadium at Pacific Lutheran University is more than just a whisper.

PLU currently holds graduation ceremonies at the Tacoma Dome and uses Spark’s Stadium, which belongs to the Puyallup School District, for football games. Although the process of building a new stadium on campus is by no means on the fast track, there have been steps made to make it happen.

Conversations of a new multipurpose stadium have been stirring for a long time. Recently, PLU Athletics opened a new multipurpose turf field.

“When I got here in 2004,” Jud Keim, assistant football head coach and intramurals director, said, “the talk [of a stadium] was bubbling up a lot more than I have ever heard.”

Students are supportive of the potential new multipurpose stadium. Junior Colton Heath said, “I’ve only been to one game. Finding the time to drive down to a football game in Puyallup is only something I’m going to do on a special occasion.”

Heath said if there was a stadium on campus, “obviously a lot more students are going to go to the games. It makes it way easier and it takes way less time, way less effort.”

Joel Teats, a football player and sophomore, said, “having a stadium on campus would be a really big draw for potential students and potential athletes.”

Teats said “I like playing at Spark’s, but I think it would just be a different atmosphere having it here on campus rather than somewhere else. It would increase the college experience and it would be cool just seeing it every day. It reminds you that what you’re doing is important and that people care.”

Keim said, “it would be a multipurpose stadium, and of course I call it a football stadium, but it is a university facility.” Keim said newer campus buildings, such as the Mary Baker Russell Music Center and the Martin J. Neeb Center, are examples of PLU building things right. “Knowing how we do things and what our expectations would be, it would be a great facility.”

PLU has not yet developed a concrete timeline for building a multipurpose stadium of its own, but the university has taken steps to make it happen.