USM Athletic Field Campaign
Improving the safety, quality, and capacity of outdoor athletic fields at the University of Southern Maine
The installation of a synthetic turf field on the University of Southern Maine Gorham Campus will help provide our student-athelets with a safe and first-rate playing field. The field will also support the Athletic Department's recruitment and retention of the highest caliber student-athletes, expand recreational opportunities for residential students, and provide a venus for community and regional activities. A turf field will extend the practice season, save money on travel, and make USM more competitive.
Our field hockey and lacrosse programs face competitive disadvantages practicing and competing on the existing grass fields. A turf field will allow the University’s field hockey (played almost exclusively on turf), lacrosse, and soccer teams to practice and compete as needed on a
superior, competitive playing surface. To play a full schedule, collegiate lacrosse games must begin in mid-March, with practices starting even earlier and our outdoor fields are simply not ready for play at that time of year. A turf field will allow early season practices to be held outdoors and early season games to be played at home.
- A turf field will allow USM to host NCAA Championship Tournaments in field hockey and lacrosse
- Nine of 12 school’s with field hockey teams in the Little East Conference have synthetic turf fields
- Two of three who do not have turf fields have turf field projects approved in their campus master plans
The goal of this campaign is more than building a turf field. This project will give our student athletes, who are among our best and brightest students, an outdoor facility to match those on peer campuses while providing more recreational opportunities for university students and for local communities
-Selma Botman President
The realization of this project will improve student-athlete recruitment and retention, make
our teams more competitive, increase practice time, enhance recreational opportunities for all
students, allow for the hosting of NCAA Championships and major tournaments, and provide
access to the greater community. The successful completion of this project is critical to the success of our programs.
Director of Athletics and Recreation
Advantages to Having a Lighted Synthetic Turf Field
- Increases the ability to recruit and retain talented student-athletes.
- Enhances the competitive level of all five teams utilizing the field.
- Improves opportunities for recreation, intramural, and club sports.
- Provides greater flexibility in practice and game schedules for all teams.
- Enhances opportunities for summer sports, camps and clinics.
- Creates the ability to host NCAA Championships and other major tournaments.
- Provides opportunities for greater communities by allowing access to our facilities.
- Extends the hours the field is available for use.
Student Recruitment and Retention
In an increasingly competitive market for recruiting students, quality facilities play an even greater role in the decision making process for prospective students and USM must offer first-rate, competitive, and safe facilities to recruit talented student-athletes. Lighted synthetic turf
fields are the standard at most colleges and universities now, as they are at many of the high schools from which USM students are recruited. The lack of quality playing fields at USM has proven to be a recruiting disadvantage.
- By presenting a variety of opportunities to become involved in athletics and recreation, by providing high quality facilities, and by offering a system of support, students are more successful and engaged in their education
- Graduation and retention rates for student-athletes at USM are significantly higher then the overall rate for USM students
Hannaford and the Hannaford Charitable Foundation are pleased that the new turf facility will contribute to wellness and quality of life on campus and support outstanding athletic programs at the University of Southern Maine.
-Dave BassVice President for Retail OperationsHannaford
Expand Recreational Use
While opportunities for indoor recreational sports and fitness activities are plentiful, fall and spring outdoor opportunities are limited. This new field will expand recreational offerings for our residential student population.
Due to the limited number of outdoor playing fields (4), the absence of any illuminated fields, a complex class schedule, and shared use with intercollegiate athletics, scheduling outdoor recreational activities is very difficult.
Because of this and concerns related to playing conditions, intramural sports are often limited or not offered. The addition of a turf facility will significantly enrich student life opportunities. Our recreational offerings will expand, thereby enhancing student satisfaction and retention rates.
The University of Southern Maine values its role in the community and has formed partnerships with many organizations over the years. The installation of an illuminated synthetic turf fi eld would allow these partnerships and collaborations to not only continue, but to also grow.
USM has partnered with the following to host championships, fundraising events, trade shows, celebrations, and graduations:
- Local school districts
- Recreation departments
- Youth sports organizations
- Maine Special Olympics
- Maine Children's Cancer Program, etc.
As head coach of the women's lacrosse program, I know what an immense impact a state-of-the-art turf facility would have on my program's success. The ability to practice throughout the year on the same field we compete on would give us a competitive advantage that we currently lack. This facility would draw a greater number of interested student-athletes to our lacrosse program that might otherwise have overlooked all that USM has to offer.
-Lauren Ried Women's Lacrosse Coach
A turf field would be an incredible addition to USM athletics. The facility could be used year round and for both spring and fall sports, and would give our teams the advantage of playing on the same space for the duration of their season--- leveling the playing field with other teams in our league.-Mary Vaughn, student-athlete,
Women's Lacrosse and Ice Hockey