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URI announces Facility Enhancements at Bill Beck Field

KINGSTON, R.I. – Phase One of the Bill Beck Field Enhancement Project began last week at the University of Rhode Island, the entirety of which was funded by private donations to the Rhody baseball program. The three-part project will focus primarily on enhancing the overall aesthetics and fan experience at The Beck, home of the defending Atlantic 10 Champions.

Bill Beck Field Enhancement Project – Phase One
Phase One features a pronounced entry to the facility, including a stone walkway leading from the parking lot to the Bill Beck Field monument behind the press box. Donors and supporters of the program have the opportunity to have their names engraved and displayed on this new walkway.

Two dozen trees were also planted around the facility. Ten pin oaks now encircle the backstop area, spanning from dugout to dugout with five on each side of the press box. Evergreens were also planted on the home plate side of each dugout while six Colorado blue spruces went in behind the press box and another six were added along the home bullpen.

Rounding out the landscaping portion of Phase One will be the installation of approximately 4,000 square feet of new sod around the spectator area.

Also included in Phase One is new protective netting behind home plate. The new netting – which is scheduled to go up at the beginning of March, when the winter weather has passed – will be thinner and lighter than the current netting, providing fans with a much better viewing experience. It also will feature detachable sections designed to simplify the snow removal process throughout the winter months.

The entirety of Phase One was funded privately, through fundraised dollars and donations in kind.

Phases Two and Three – detailed below – will combine to cost an additional $45,000. An anonymous Rhody Baseball alumni has pledged to fund the $15,000 cost of Phase Three if other donors and supporters of the program can come together and cover the cost of Phase Two ($30,000) prior to the Rams’ 2017 season opener on February 17.

To help URI meet its goal of securing this $15,000 challenge gift, alumni and friends are being asked to make a contribution to Rhode Island Baseball prior to 2017 Opening Day.

Bill Beck Field Enhancement Project – Phase Two ($30,000)
Phase Two will focus mainly on the spectator seating area while also continuing to enhance the overall aesthetics of the facility. Versa-Lok walls will be constructed to provide tiered spectator seating between both dugouts and the current set of bleachers behind home plate. Artificial grass will line the seating area, lessening the need for frequent landscaping and maintenance while also eliminating the concern of muddy conditions resulting from melting snow and/or spring showers.
The backstop area will be wrapped in a thin stone veneer, providing a finished look to the concrete backstop that currently exists. Additionally, five arborvitae trees will be installed in the batter’s eye behind the centerfield wall, replacing some of the current trees to create a more uniform look.

Bill Beck Field Enhancement Project – Phase Three ($15,000)
The project’s third and final phase will include another Versa-Lok tiered seating wall with artificial grass surface, between the first base dugout and home bullpen. Additional trees will be installed along the outfield wall as well.

Individuals who make gifts of $1,000 or more will have the opportunity to engrave a stone along the new walkway at the entrance of Bill Beck Field. As a special deal to young alumni, gifts may be made in two installments – one before the end of the calendar year and another in 2017.

For additional information on various levels of giving and ways to get involved, please contact Nick Narodowy (nnarodowy@uri.edu/401-874-2389) or Garrett Waller (gwaller@uri.edu/401-874-5287) in the Rhode Island Athletics Development office.

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