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AD BLOG: Unitas Stadium Has Become Our Field of Dreams
Courtesy: Mike Waddell, Director of Athletics  
Release: 05/27/2009
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AD Blog - May 27, 2009 

 

Everyone knows the phrase from one of my favorite movies – “if you build it, he will come.” In the movie, Field of Dreams, the "he” is Ray’s father. But the character of Terrance Mann goes on to explain that if you build it, “people will come.”

 

In Iowa, baseball was the attraction. In Baltimore, it’s lacrosse. Last weekend, more than 14,000 fans proved that the builders of Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium knew what they were doing when they built the 11,200-seat venue six years ago. It was a perfect site for the 2009 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship.

 

I know it took more than just building the stadium. The event, marketing and media relations staffs deserve great credit for getting the word out. It was gratifying to see 7,549 fans make their way to Towson to watch the NCAA semifinals on Friday, smashing the semifinals record of 6,428 set in 2007. On Sunday, 6,515 fans attended the championship game, breaking the finals mark set last year at Towson. Obviously, the two-day attendance of 14,064 fans also set a record. Our community has truly responded to the opportunity to watch outstanding women’s college lacrosse at the U!

 

For me, one of the most rewarding parts about the event was seeing the large number of young lacrosse players, either attending with family members or as teammates. I am particularly proud, knowing that the student-athletes on the field provide great role models for the young players.

 

 The outstanding attendance was not the only measurement of success. Our facility staff, under the direction of tournament director Nance Reed and tournament manager Mark Temmel, did a great job conducting the event. The facilities operation, practices, sports medicine services and media relations efforts were all top of the line and reflected well on the university.

 

In addition, Towson rolled out the red carpet for the guests. From the minute the teams stepped foot in the four host hotels to the service in our very busy concession stands to the special hospitality provided to the student-athletes, VIPs and media, our guests felt welcomed.

 

It’s a cliché to say that it’s a team effort, but I was so impressed with the number of  Towson staff, coaches and volunteers that stepped up to play a small, but important role in hosting this  national event over a holiday weekend.

 

One of our major goals in hosting this signature event was for everyone to leave the venue with a positive impression of Towson University. Thanks to the efforts of our staff and volunteers, I believe we accomplished that more than 14,000 times over the weekend. It is our hope now that the fans have been here, they will be back again!


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