Construction is well under way at the Lost Dauphin Road site of the new stadium. Follow progress at www.snc.edu/go/stadium.
Home field advantage
Donald J. Schneider Stadium, the college’s new outdoor athletic facility, is moving from promise to reality.
Director of athletics fundraising Don Maslinski ’63 was excited when preliminary work started last November on the field at the intersection of Lost Dauphin and Scheuring, but he was “off-the-charts excited” when he saw actual construction begin, he says.
Crews have recently placed cement footings for the front wall, and soon risers will go up. The project will be completed in time for fall football and soccer games.
Official dedication of the Green Knights’ new home will take place during the homecoming football game on Oct. 23, but that won’t be the only celebration. There are also plans to do something special for the football season opener on Sept. 4, the first soccer game, and the first track event in spring.
“It’s almost a year of celebration,” Maslinski says.
The need for the new stadium became apparent when defects in the 70-year-old John R. Minahan Stadium numbered too many to fix. Schneider Stadium will boast many improvements over the current facility, including a durable turf surface and polyurethane all-weather track, grass practice fields, a video scoreboard, pavilion and concessions areas, paved parking, a press box, storage buildings and home and visitors’ locker rooms. There will even be a meditation area available as a quiet place for reflection.
“We try to say that we have first-class teams, and now we’ll be able to participate with a first-class facility,” says athletics director Tim Bald. “It’s something we’d be proud to show recruits and have people come and visit.”
The track program may get the biggest boost. The men’s and women’s teams include multiple NCAA National Champions and Academic All-Americans, despite their lack of a home track – until now.
“Not only are we going to have a track, we’re going to have a great track,” Maslinski says. “It’ll be fast. It’ll be durable. It’s what our kids should have.”
Football, soccer and track athletes will not be the only ones to benefit from construction of the new stadium. Existence of the new facility will free up space at Schuldes for other athletes, and students, faculty and neighbors will be invited to use Schneider Stadium for personal fitness.
The cost of the facility is estimated at $11.5 million. Maslinski and his team have raised some $9.5 million to date. He credits generous donors with keeping the project moving despite a down economy. (According to Bald, the economy may have actually helped the project by creating a favorable market for material and labor costs.)
“I’m amazed at people’s philanthropic nature,” Maslinski says. “We’ve had people give $25 to $5 million. It all counts.”
Fundraising for the stadium continues. Donors can contact Maslinski to contribute. They also can purchase personalized bricks to be placed in the stadium plaza. The college plans to hold a brick sale every year; orders for this year’s sale must be made by Thursday, July 15.
Football season dates to note:
First game in Schneider Stadium; alumni game
Norbertine Heritage Day game
De Pere Day, with free admission for residents of the city
Homecoming and the stadium’s official dedication
Senior Day, featuring the college’s Academic All-Americans