Tigue Moore Renovations on Hold
It has long been a hope of UL baseball fans that badly needed renovations to M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field would begin shortly after the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Now, those plans have been put on hold, at least for the time being.
Speaking at the UL Diamond Club luncheon on Tuesday, Director of Intercollegiate athletics Scott Farmer said the University is going to hire an outside firm to put together a master plan for facility improvements.
“The firm will identify the needs of the athletic department, come up with a timetable to get those improvements made, and estimate the cost of the projects. Then, once the study is done, it will be up to us to communicate the plan to our fans and supporters.”
Farmer went on to say funding for the baseball project simply hasn’t materialized.
“We’ve been trying to secure funding. Coach Robichaux has worked hard to try and secure funding. But the reality is the donors haven’t materialized. “Farmer estimates the ballpark renovations will cost in the neighborhood of eight million dollars.
“If someone wants to write us a check for eight million, we can start renovations right away,” Farmer added. He said there has been one donor in the amount of $100,000 thus far.
Farmer identified projects needing attention in addition to baseball include new locker rooms for the track complex, meeting rooms for coaches in football as well as a new weight room, and, eventually, a renovation to Cajun Field.
Farmer was also quick to say there have been many athletic facility improvements that have already been done.
“We’ve gotten an indoor facility built; we’ve finished the renovations to softball and put in new paved parking at E. K. Long. We have new turf at Cajun Field and at Tigue Moore. But it’s going to take a lot more to get all of the things we want accomplished.”
One way the university might be able to raise money is by assessing a student fee for athletics, something heretofore not possible in the University of Louisiana system.
“Florida International adds more money through student fees each year than we have in our entire budget,” Famer pointed out. Having a student fee for athletics is something that would certainly help.” Farmer did not say whether a student fee would be used for facility improvements, the general budget or a combination of both. UL’s budget for athletics is a little over 13 million dollars, one of the lowest in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Anticipating renovations being completed by 2013, the Cajuns baseball team has LSU coming in for a game in the first time in eleven years, will play 12 of their first fourteen games at home and is hosting the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
“I appreciate Scott and Ken (Winstead, Senior Associate Athletic Director) coming by and filling our supporters in,” head baseball coach Tony Robichaux said. “We’re going to keep working to make this better. We want to leave our program better than when we got here. We still have work to do.”
Despite a sub-par season that has seen the Cajuns fighting to try and make the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Bowling Green, KY in two weeks, the Cajuns have continued to lead the Sun Belt in attendance and rank in the top 30 nationally.