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Yurachek planning on baseball upgrade

by Matt Jones | June 17, 2018 at 3:06 a.m.

OMAHA, Neb. -- Arkansas is in preliminary discussions to construct an additional team facility at Baum Stadium.

Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn and Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek detailed the additions during separate interviews Saturday in Omaha, the site of the College World Series. The Razorbacks play Texas at TD Ameritrade Park today at 1 p.m.

The preliminary building plans are for an estimated 35,000- to 40,000-square-foot facility that would include a new team clubhouse, new weight room and new coaches' offices. Other amenities would include a locker area for professional players who train in Fayetteville during the offseason and a museum area to house Arkansas' baseball trophies.

Yurachek said the multistory facility likely will be built beyond the outfield wall in right field. The estimated price is between $15 million and $20 million. The hope is to have it ready in 2020.

"What I found when I toured our facilities with Coach Van Horn early on in my tenure here is that Baum Stadium is an unbelievable facility for a fan to watch a game, and the fan amenities are really strong," said Yurachek, who was hired in December, "but where we're falling behind is the amenities we have to offer our student-athletes -- the clubhouse area, the training room, team lounge, team weight room, which are things our student-athletes use seven days a week."

The Razorbacks' current weight room is located in an overflow area inside the university's indoor track center, adjacent to Baum Stadium. The clubhouse is on the north side of the stadium and has an entrance to the field through the first-base dugout.

"When I talked to Hunter about this when he came in, he said, 'What do you want?' And I said, 'I want to improve things for the players,' " Van Horn said. "Baum Stadium is awesome, and it's great when you walk up to it and it's full, but underneath it's average with what we're competing against and what's going on around the country, and especially in our league. When we walked the facility, I didn't really have to say anything; Hunter saw."

The last major building project for baseball was completed in 2015 -- an indoor practice facility that is shared with track and field and was projected to cost around $10 million. Baum Stadium last underwent a large-scale renovation prior to the 2007 season, which extended suites down both lines and increased the number of suites from 12 to 32.

Yurachek said he hopes to have plans finalized in time for the November meeting of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville board of trustees, which must approve building projects.

Sports on 06/17/2018

Print Headline: Yurachek planning on baseball upgrade

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