Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Boys in the Bubble

Interesting piece here on Harvard's soon-to-be-realized plans to install a seasonal bubble over Harvard Stadium.
A series of renovations slated to begin next month will change that, upgrading the 103-year-old National Historic Landmark to a multi-purpose facility available for year-round use by varsity, intramural, and club teams. The planned developments include replacing the grass field with a synthetic surface, installing lights on the stadium’s exterior, and providing for the implementation of a seasonal “bubble.” The project is estimated to cost around $5 million and will be funded by alumni contributions, according to Director of Athletics Robert L. Scalise...

Work on the stadium would begin next month and be completed in time for the fall 2006 football season, Scalise says...

The bubble will help alleviate an annual space crunch during long Northeast winters, which force the varsity baseball and softball teams to use Lavietes Pavilion or the Palmer Dixon Tennis Courts as practice facilities. Recent upgrades to Palmer Dixon, including the installation of synthetic turf, have helped ease the space problem. But the “winter fieldhouse solution” of the bubble is “one of the things we’re lacking right now,” Scalise says.

Are we happy? Sounds like we're happy:
The proposed renovations have also been met with approval by the varsity teams affected.

Harvard baseball coach Joe Walsh called the addition of the bubble “huge,” saying that the 100-yard winter fieldhouse will not only help his team—which has in the past practiced in the cramped confines of Palmer Dixon or Lavietes—but also his recruiting pitch.

“We’ve got a kid from Florida, two kids from the West Coast, and a kid from Arizona coming in next year,” Walsh says, “and it’s so nice to tell those guys, you know, this is what we’ve got. We’re going to be playing baseball, but it’s going to be indoors.”

Just what Harvard needed, another selling point for recruits.

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