Board approves Curtis Granderson Stadium at UIC

A new multi-million dollar baseball stadium on the Chicago campus was formally approved Wednesday by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s new stadium will be named in honor of UIC alumnus and New York Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson, who announced a funding pledge for the facility earlier this year that is expected to be the largest gift in UIC Athletics history.

Construction of the new Curtis Granderson Stadium is scheduled to begin this fall, with completion set for the fall of 2015. The open-air, brick-and-stone clad ballpark will feature 1,200 chair-back seats and two grassy berms for fan seating.

The stadium will be home to UIC Flames baseball, and also will host youth league games through partnerships with Major League Baseball (MLB), Chicago Public Schools and other organizations that serve Chicago-area youth.

Granderson outlined the youth initiative when he announced his gift in February during a ceremony retiring his No. 28 Flames jersey, saying he wanted to pay forward the opportunities that sports gave him. MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) and Urban Youth Academy programs would be key partners in Granderson’s initiative. RBI has established more than 300 youth programs in 200 cities worldwide since it was launched in 1989, funded through more than $30 million in donations from MLB and its 30 teams.

UIC ranks among the nation’s leading research universities and is Chicago’s largest university with 27,500 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state’s major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.

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