The potential that Michigan lacrosse holds is only starting to come into focus. After a wildly successful run of kicking MCLA opponents in the teeth, the Wolverines entered Division I play in the 2012 season and have amassed a 7-37 record -- going 5-11 in 2014 -- since then, slowing shedding the team's club lacrosse profile. Momentum is building in Ann Arbor, with talent flocking to the campus to help build the vision that John Paul maintains for the program. A big step for Michigan's lacrosse concern could come to fruition this week with the approval of a dedicated lacrosse stadium on the university's campus.
The Michigan athletic department will seek approval this week from the Board of Regents for a proposed $168 million project that calls for wide-ranging upgrades, as well as the construction of a lacrosse stadium.
Funding, according to a letter signed by Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, will be provided from a $100 million donation from businessman Stephen Ross and from athletic department resources and gifts.
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It will involve the construction of 310,000 square feet of space for the future homes for all those sports and athletes. A lacrosse stadium that will accommodate 3,000 spectators will be included, in addition to and indoor and outdoor track competition facility that will hold 2,000 and 1,000 spectators, respectively.
The Board of Regents will meet Thursday -- tomorrow -- to vote on the proposal. Renderings of the proposals can be found here.
Michigan currently utilizes Michigan Stadium and Oosterbaan Field House for competition, facilities that are either frighteningly too large or perilously too small for Division I play. A 3,000-seat facility dedicated to the lacrosse program -- complimenting new digs in a consolidated athletic facility -- erases all of the odd residences that the lacrosse team has held, placing the lacrosse program in a position to create their own traditions and accelerate the coalescence of their identity.
There are only a handful of programs around the nation that have a lacrosse-only stadium; almost all Division I teams share their competition venue with another athletic team. Constructing something solely dedicated to lacrosse at Michigan puts the Wolverines in unique company, further allowing the program to create internal combustion as it drives toward whatever exists in its future