Marshall Notebook: Huntington’s Municipal Development Authority donates almost four acres to the Ballpark project

The financial and logistical issues for Marshall University’s long-discussed baseball facility continue to improve.

Just a week after the university’s Board of Governors approved the construction of a baseball stadium on land at 2nd Avenue and 22nd Street adjacent to the university’s softball complex, Huntington’s Municipal Development Authority has agreed to donate nearly four acres of land which is the actual ballpark site.

The University must acquire an additional four acres west of the stadium site in order to have all the needed project space. The land is now owned by McGinnis Investment Corporation.

The city of Huntington has committed $8 million dollars in American Rescue Act funds for the stadium project and private fundraising and other money sources will pay for the rest of the ballpark.

University officials are wasting no time in moving toward ballpark construction. A meeting with potential construction bidders is scheduled for Thursday and the opening of bids for the stadium is scheduled for July 21st at 2 pm.

If bids are acceptable and other pre-construction work proceeds without issues, construction could begin in October with plans to begin to play in Spring 2024.

A Voice for the Fans–Marshall Athletics is forming its first Fan Committee.
The athletic department is now accepting applications for the Marshall Fan Committee in search of members who can help create the best fan experience on Thundering Herd game days and throughout the year.

The application period to be part of the group is open until this Friday at 11:45 p.m. and information on how to apply can be found on the Marshall Athletics website…

The athletic department says it’s looking for a diverse pool of members, comprised of 20 to 25 people. Members who are selected are appointed to a term of two years, with meetings occurring quarterly. The committee will focus on enhancing all aspects of the Marshall Athletics fan experience, including, but not limited to, athletic department communication; fan outreach; in-game experience; facility amenities; ticketing and donor support; and customer service.

Marshall Athletics Director Christian Spears says the fans are an important part of preparing for his department’s future.

“Our Fan Committee will play a critical role in helping us develop our game-day experiences,” Spears said. “If you have great ideas for us, please complete the application. We are excited to put together a great group.”
The committee will be announced in the coming weeks, with the first meeting scheduled for late July. The Marshall Fan Committee is open to all fans.

Entering the Hall–The newest members of the Marshall University Athletics Hall of Fame have been announced.

They are: Stefanie Cook-Lewis, Softball/Women’s Soccer (1995-98), Sarah Crandall-Fletcher, Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field (1990-94), Vinny Curry, Football (2008-11), Carrie Hinkle, Softball (1994-97), Jody Lambert, Women’s Basketball/Volleyball (1970-73), Jack Lengyel, Football Head Coach (1971-74), Kim Nutter, Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field (1978-82), Dave Tabor, Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field (1983-86) and Travis Young, Men’s Basketball (1997-2001)

The athletic department will also honor Bill Noe, Men’s Swimming and Diving (1982-86); Jalicia Ross, Volleyball (2004-08) and Steve Sciullo, Football (1999-200) at this year’s banquet, due to the trio being unable to attend last fall’s induction.

This Hall of Fame class will be the first installed by new Marshall Athletics Director Christian Spears.

“One of the best things you get to do as a Director of Athletics is call those who are set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Spears said. “They have achieved something that brings true recognition to themselves, their school, and their families, not to mention those who they competed with and against, and then they get to join a group of others who have earned the same honor.”

The annual Hall of Fame dinner is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 2 at 6:30 p.m., in the Don Morris Room of the Marshall University Memorial Student Center. The group will also be honored at the September 3rd Marshall-Norfolk State football game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

By Bill Cornwell