The Miami baseball program announced an effort earlier this week to raise $7 million to upgrade its facilities. The announcement coincides with a fall exhibition game Miami will play against FAU in Coral Gables on Saturday.
The Miami baseball program is seeking $7 million in fundraising to invest in a new scoreboard, renovations to the Miami locker room and players lounge plus nutrition center. The renovations are the second phase of the upgrades for Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. The Hurricanes will break ground on phase one this fall.
Those upgrades will include construction of a state of the art indoor practice facility with batting cages, bullpens and an unspecified multi-purpose area. The announcement of the fundraising campaign came earlier this week ahead of the Miami baseball fall game against FAU at Mark Light Field.
Miami is coming off of a 41-20 season and they were the runner-up in the Starkville Regional. It was the first trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Hurricanes since they reached the College World Series in 2016. The 2016 trip to the NCAA Tournament was the 43rd in a row for the Miami baseball program.
FAU was 41-21 in 2019. The Hurricanes and Owls split two games in Coral Gables in the spring and Miami won the lone game played in Boca Raton. FAU also advanced to the NCAA Tournament losing two of three games in the Athens Regional. Miami Athletic Director Blake James discussed the fundraising campaign.
With your help, we can make these incredible facility improvements and give our student-athletes and fans the best experience in college baseball! pic.twitter.com/Ml8b2vEyW7
— Canes Baseball (@CanesBaseball) October 25, 2019
“Hurricanes Baseball is one of the most historic and successful programs in college baseball and we are committed to supporting our student-athletes and coaches on and off the field to ensure we continue that winning tradition.
These state-of-the-art facility renovations will help our baseball team continue to Build Champions and compete at the highest level year after year.”
Miami head baseball coach Gin DiMare contributed $500,000 of his own money to the campaign. It is the latest donation from a current Miami head coach to a fundraising campaign. Former Miami football coach Mark Richt donated $1 million of his own money for the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility.
DiMare is entering his second season as the Miami baseball coach. He was an assistant under legendary Miami coach and two-time national champion Jim Morris before taking over as head coach following the 2018 baseball season. DiMare also played at Miami under the godfather of college baseball Ron Fraser.
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DiMare spoke about what Miami means to him, the importance of giving back to the university and his commitment to helping the Miami baseball program.
“This program has given so much to me and I feel that I owe it to give back. I believe in our program and what we are doing and I am committed to do everything I can to help us be the very best.
Facilities play a major role in our ability to recruit the top players in the country, as well as develop our players to be the very best while they are here. Getting top talent and developing that top talent is the essence to being a successful program. These improvements will help make that happen.”
First pitch for Saturday’s game between Miami and FAU is Saturday at 1 PM at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.