Date of this Version
At the Collegiate level, a stadium represents more than just a sporting event. The stadium has grown to become a symbol of university pride and often reflects its accomplishments. The proposed project involves combining sports and entertainment in order to create a Baseball Stadium that will serve as home to the Creighton University Baseball team. The first intention is to generate a building that exhibits the connection between the experiences of a game with the architecture of a stadium. The secondary objectives are 1)Establish the stadium to be a source of civic pride in Omaha, 2)Design the stadium to be an element in the recruiting of future athletes, and 3)Add to Creighton’s athletic tradition.
A stadium is the venue where the event takes place. The fans that occupy the stadium are the connection between the experience of a game and the architecture of the stadium. If the facility is not fan-friendly, the thrill of the event does not exist. Creighton University’s new baseball stadium will engage the school’s urban context through an expansive, open field environment. The design will maximize visual connections between the stadium, field and surrounding city. Additionally, the design will embrace surrounding campus architecture and express the history of the nationally recognized Bluejay baseball program. The project scope encompasses a classic, fan-friendly facility with design expressions relating to surrounding 19th century brick commercial buildings and expansive views of the field from all seats and an elevated concourse.
Many universities across the country rely on their football stadium to be the iconic element of the city or campus. Meanwhile, the baseball stadium has generally taken a backseat to its football counterpart. Creighton is unique in that it does not field a football team. Instead, Creighton relies heavily on the success the baseball, softball, basketball, and soccer teams have attained for its source of civic pride. The basketball and soccer teams have recently moved into new arenas, the Qwest Center and Morrison Soccer Complex, respectively. However, the baseball team still occupies the outdated CU Sports Complex. A new baseball stadium will not only complement the new resurgence of growth on the Missouri Riverfront, it will also provide a facility for many different uses outside of the private institution. Creighton currently hosts many youth, club, and high school activities dealing with all sports. The goal is to create a stadium that does not compete with the latest venue additions, but to complement them and establish a stronghold on athletics in Omaha.
Athletics at Creighton University are highly regarded in Omaha. The Men’s Basketball team is the most popular of all of Creighton’s athletic programs, having gone to the NCAA basketball tournament seven of the last nine years. The Men’s Soccer team has been consistently ranked in the top 10-20 in the country and has been to the Final Four of Soccer several times in the last decade. For their dominance over the past decade, the basketball and soccer teams have been nationally recognized and rewarded with new arenas to become symbols of their accomplishments. Creighton’s baseball team has one NCAA College World Series appearance (1991), which is played yearly in Omaha’s Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Due to its close proximity to Rosenblatt, Creighton serves as the annual host institution for this event. The baseball program uses this honor to reach out to aspiring young ballplayers across the country by holding mini-camps and seminars at the current baseball complex on campus. Thousands of young players ranging in ages from seven to seventeen attend these camps and gain valuable first hand experience at what Creighton offers its athletes. While facilities are an immense factor in the arms race of athletic recruiting, Creighton still considers its athletes accomplishments as its main source of recruiting power. Therefore, a stadium is needed that reflects these accomplishments and enhances Creighton’s reputation among the nation’s elite.
A stadium must also maintain and enhance the athletic tradition of the university. In order to enhance the athletic tradition, one must look at past and present success while preparing for the future achievements of the program. Creighton has a very strong tradition and has had some of the most respected coaches in the country. The team has had several All-Americans and many players that have or are currently playing professional baseball. The design of this fan-friendly park will be modern in amenities and fan comfort, yet still embrace the time-honored tradition of baseball. Architectural elements taken from the context of the area will enhance the detail and lend a historic feeling. Fans will be able to reflect on past accomplishments while enjoying the present and future success of the program.