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Courtesy: Denver Athletics
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Board of Trustee Joy Burns Offers Lead Gift in Support of New Turf Field Project
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 08/05/2013

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DENVER - University of Denver Board of Trustee and longtime Athletics and Recreation supporter Joy Burns has committed to be the lead donor for the University’s turf field initiative, an expansion of field space at the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness. The turf field project will cover and extend the practice field facility to provide year-round green space for varsity athletic programs, club sports and the general student body.

“What makes this donation so transformational is that it truly benefits the entire student population,” said Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Peg Bradley-Doppes. “The Athletics and Recreation Division is fortunate to be the stewards of what will be a wonderful addition to the Daniel L. Ritchie Sports and Wellness Center, and we are excited to know that all students will be able to take part in physical activities important to them – whether it be through varsity athletics, club sports, intramural activities, or personal health and wellbeing.”

Once complete, the field space will also have the capability of hosting events during the evening hours with the inclusion of lighting components throughout the new project. Additionally, digital scoreboards and other enhancements will make for a first-class experience for all who frequent the facility.

"This past year, Club Sports had over 30 clubs with more than 750 participants and those clubs combined to compete in eight national championship tournaments and numerous regional qualifiers,” said Club Sports Chair and rugby athlete Nate Ellert. “Club teams that use the field space have been limited in their ability to practice and compete by the field space currently available. The additional space will hopefully help to solve that problem and will aid club teams in their ability to compete and continue to represent DU with pride, passion and success."

For the general student-body, the new turf fields are a dream come true. Open space issues have long been a topic for discussion and debate within the student government and the club sport community. The move to turf fields will also bring the University of Denver into parity with many of its peer institutions. Most have at least one dedicated field for general use, while a few have multiple fields within a similar campus square-footage allocation.

“Students are thrilled to be seeing additional turf space on campus,” said current student Sam Estenson. “The athletic and recreational vibe of this campus matches the mountains, plains and nature all around us, and we cannot wait to spend more time outdoors. Personally, I'm just glad I'm only a junior so I will have another chance to win that intramural soccer trophy on the new fields! Many, many thanks to all who made this a possibility. We as students sincerely appreciate it!”

Construction is already underway with the removal of existing home structures on High Street now complete. The project is expected to be concluded in late October of this year.


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