UNE’s Blue Storm Stadium has received a 2020 Facility of Merit Award from the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), a national organization for builders, designers and suppliers of synthetic turf fields. The facility includes both Blue Storm Stadium and Nor’easter Diamond.
“A truly multipurpose field is significantly harder to design than a single sport venue,” explained Alan Thibeault, vice president of University Operations. “To have the field recognized by the industry is high praise indeed.”
The purpose of the awards program is to support the ASBA’s goal of promoting excellence in sports facility construction. UNE’s Stadium is now on the shortlist for the Facility of the Year, which will be announced in December.
“We are so incredibly proud of this facility,” stated Heather Davis, director of Athletics. “It is truly unique and a result of thoughtful design and collaboration. While it is the primary venue for both softball and football, it also serves as an alternative competition and practice site for our rugby and soccer programs. Further, the facility provides numerous club and intramural sport activities that benefit our entire campus community.”
Davis notes that that the UNE women’s soccer team has won consecutive Commonwealth Coast Conference championships at Blue Storm Stadium.
D.J. Whitten, manager of the nearby Harold Alfond Forum, says consistent with the forum and other facilities at UNE, the stadium was designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of usages, while maintaining state-of-the-art design and function.
“The University, our Athletics Department, the team in Campus Services, and all other stakeholders should take a tremendous amount of pride in this recognition,” he commented. “This field will continue to serve the needs of so many of our students, as well as the overall members of the UNE Community for years to come.”
The stadium was designed by Huntress Associates, a landscape architecture, planning, and engineering firm specializing in sports and recreation, land planning, and historic preservation projects located in Andover, Massachusetts. UNE acted as the general contractor.
“Congratulations go out to all the coaches, athletics administration, campus services, and the design team, led by Huntress Associates, who brought many disparate pieces together in a successful way and on a very limited budget,” Thibeault stated. “It would not have been possible without all of us working as a team.”