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Editorial: New stadium an exciting step for MU, community

Nov. 20, 2012 @ 11:54 PM

Many in the community felt as if they lost a dear friend when word came that the aging Veterans Memorial Field House, the home to so many events during its six decades, would be torn down.

But the dilapidated structure's better days were far gone, and now the site where it stood will be turned into a new tribute to veterans, as well as serve the Huntington region in a new way.

Last week, officials gathered to break ground for a new, $8 million soccer complex that will not only pay homage to military veterans but also provide a top-quality venue for Marshall University soccer plus other soccer events. The construction of the soccer complex marks the launch of a $30 million campaign that will eventually see the construction of an indoor football practice facility, an indoor track and an athletics hall of fame, along with an academic support center and a sports medicine research center.

The soccer complex is expected to be complete by Aug. 1, in time for the Marshall men's and women's soccer teams' next season. The complex will include a synthetic turf field in a 12,000-square-foot facility with seating for 1,000, a parking lot, a 500-square-foot press box, locker rooms for home and visiting teams and coaches' offices.

The stadium will be called the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex, continuing its predecessor's role as a monument to veterans, and parts of Veterans Memorial Field House will be incorporated into the new structure. That is fitting, and serves as a reminder of the past.

As for the future, the stadium will be part of an ambitious upgrade of Marshall athletic facilities. And Marshall officials say the facility also will contribute to the economy because it will host tournaments that pump millions into the local economy.

It's an exciting step, not only for Marshall but also the community.

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