Florida Gators facilities update

The Florida Gators baseball team will be playing in a new ballpark, but it will take longer than initially expected.

Wednesday the University Athletic Association announced that there are rising construction costs and they are evaluating efficiency in an effort to get it right.

“This is an exciting day for Gators Baseball and our entire athletic department,” Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said. “While our original hope was to have the ballpark available at the beginning of 2020, and therefore available for play that season, this period of rising construction prices has required additional time to finalize the design, and has caused us to adjust our timeline by a few months.”

“You get one chance to build these types of facilities … facilities that will change the landscape of a program for generations to come. It’s exciting to think of the impact the new ballpark will have on future Gators players, coaches and fans.”

Currently the estimated price of the stadium is $65 million dollars. When the project was first proposed the price was $50 million.

Back in March the university announced a three-phase plan to upgrade athletic facilities. The softball stadium is already under a significant $15 million dollar renovation and is slated to house the softball team this season. The second phase of the plan was to break ground on a brand new baseball stadium. Once the stadium was finished McKethan Stadium, which currently houses the baseball team, would be demolished, paving the way for the football stand-alone complex. This altered timeline for the new baseball stadium will also affect the timeline for football. The delay pushes the original timeline back approximately one year.

Funding for Phases I-III of the UAA Facility Master Plan, which total $285 million, includes a target of $155 million in private support. To date, Gator Boosters, Inc. has received nearly $86 million in private gift commitments, marking progress at 55 percent of the necessary philanthropic support for these phases.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC