Clemson’s athletic department is working hard to get the softball program up and running. Obviously, the first step is to find a place to put a stadium, which Clemson is currently working on.
Clemson announced it will begin a softball program back on March 14. Right now, it seems the primary location for a new stadium is in Jervey Meadows just beyond left field at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich told The Clemson Insider earlier this week at the ACC’s spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla., the athletic department currently has a feasibility study going on and is working with an architectural firm to look at various spots on campus. Jervey Meadows appears to be the leader for the location at this time.
“When you do these things, you just don’t put a stadium down,” Radakovich said. “You have to have the orientation correct. You have to have adjacencies to the locker rooms, the weight room and other practice facilities. There are a lot of thoughts going into that right now so that is occurring as we speak.”
Clemson is hopeful it will get some results back from the feasibility study in June to allow it to narrow in on a specific location.
“We might say we are going to put it right here, but there might be a gas line or a water line underneath there so if you move it 20 feet away then you don’t disturb any of those things so that is a lot of the workings going on right now so things you don’t see dictate some of these facilities.”
One thing no one can see right now is how it might affect the parking at Jervey Meadows, one of the prime tailgating spots on football Saturdays in Clemson. When Clemson began construction of the new Allen Reeves Football Complex after the end of the 2015 season, more than 1,300 parking spaces were lost because it also affected the parking down below Doug Kingsmore Stadium in what was known as the old intramural athletic fields.
The new football facility also displaced the men’s and women’s soccer teams and where they could practice so the athletic department moved their practices fields to the intramural fields. No one can park on those fields now.
If the new softball stadium is built on a part of Jervey Meadows there will be more parking spaces moved.
“How close can you tuck it into (Doug Kingsmore) stadium so you affect that at a minimal level,” said Radakovich. “There are dual priorities going on there. Those are all things we are looking at.
“How effective and efficient can we build the softball stadium? How do we least impact the parking areas? What are other parking areas we might be able to use to help mitigate any loss of spaces at that point and time? All of those things come into play right now.”
Last year, Clemson opened up the New Springs Church parking area and the Seneca River Meadows area where it had the Cat Bus systems running fans to and from Clemson Memorial Stadium.
“Those were really good and popular, and people began to use that because it was really an easy way to get in and out of the stadium,” Radakovich said. “Those are large spaces where tailgating is done and people enjoy it so we need to continue to look at those types of things as we continue to have large capacity crowds as we have had for a number of years, and as we to continue to expand our athletic programs.”