New place to play on campus for intramurals, club sports
When UIC students return to campus next month, they will find a new and improved place to play.
UIC’s Outdoor Field Complex reopened June 1 after a project to replace the grassy field with more than 214,000 square feet of artificial turf.
“There’s a lot of excitement about the new field,” said Brian Cousins, director of Campus Recreation. “We’ve gotten a lot of compliments about the surface and how much safer it is and nice to play on.”
Campus Recreation will show off the new field Sept. 10 at Rec Fest. “We really want to celebrate with the students — we’re waiting for them to come back to have a grand opening,” Cousins said.
The $3.9 million project — paid for by Campus Recreation funds and an internal campus loan — updated the two multipurpose fields, which can accommodate various sport and recreation teams. The renovation added permanent game lines for softball, soccer, flag football, lacrosse and more. High school regulation-size soccer goals, required to host matches, were added, as well as fencing, wi-fi and territory areas to separate play from walkways. Outdoor exercise equipment is expected by fall semester.
“The turf provides a safe, high-quality playing field for our intramural sports and club sport teams,” Cousins said. “It will also give us two outdoor seasons — before, we just had fall because the fields weren’t ready in the spring. As soon as it’s warm enough for people to want to be outside, we can be on the fields. We don’t need to worry about mud, or freezing and thawing.”
The field complex is available for UIC community use during the day, and it’s often rented by adult and youth sports leagues at night during the summer, Cousins said.
“It’s a way for us to generate revenue to help pay for the fields — without having to use additional student fees — while still providing open recreation to our students and university community,” he said.