Friends of Lacrosse and Field Hockey Support Upgrade of Fields and Facilities

November 11, 2011

Princeton’s lacrosse and field hockey teams have new and improved playing surfaces and expanded facilities, thanks to the generous support of a consortium of alumni, parents, and friends.

The three teams—men’s and women’s lacrosse and field hockey—have shared an AstroTurf field at the Class of 1952 Stadium for 15 years. These teams that call the stadium home have won 34 Ivy League Championships and six NCAA championships.

But AstroTurf is no longer considered the ideal playing surface for lacrosse. A different type of synthetic grass, FieldTurf, is the new standard. In order to keep pace with this change in intercollegiate athletics, two distinct surfaces are needed.

Thanks to capstone gifts by members of the consortium, the field at the Class of 1952 Stadium will be resurfaced with FieldTurf in time for the 2012 season and named in memory of John J. F. (Jay) Sherrerd ’52, one of Princeton’s most distinguished volunteer leaders.

“I am grateful to the generous alumni, parents, and friends who have provided our lacrosse and field hockey athletes with the ideal playing surfaces for their sports, while making possible much needed improvements to the surrounding infrastructure,” said President Shirley M. Tilghman. “It is especially fitting that the Class of 1952 Stadium’s field will honor Jay Sherrerd, whose devotion to his class and Princeton as a whole was truly inspirational.”

The Class of 1952 Stadium will be home to the lacrosse teams. An adjacent stadium with a seating capacity for 1,500 and an AstroTurf field will be constructed on Bedford Field and serve as the new home for field hockey.

Included in the project are expanded and updated amenities for optimal NCAA hosting by all three teams: a team room, referees room, concession area, storage area, and rest rooms. In addition, the existing press box will be improved to permit viewing of both fields and the public address system will be enhanced.

“Enthusiastic supporters of both sports backed this plan and helped raise the funds to make it a reality,” said Jon Hess ’98, president of the Princeton Athletics Friends Group for lacrosse. “I am proud that our alumni and friends want Princeton lacrosse and field hockey to continue to compete at the highest level, and these facilities will help our student-athletes do that.”

“This new plan will ensure that all three teams have a space on campus that our student-athletes will be proud to call home. Having just celebrated 40 years of Princeton field hockey this season, we look forward to our next 40 years playing on Bedford Field,” added Sue Perles ’75, president of the Friends of Princeton Field Hockey and a former University trustee.

The $5 million project will be built in two phases, with completion expected in August 2013. The additional space also will offer Princeton’s club/intramural sports more flexibility with additional places to play.