LENOIR-RHYNE UNIVERSITY: Will spend $15 million on renovations to Moretz Stadium

Published Thursday, August 5th, 2021

A view from the east side of the planned renovations to Moretz Stadium, where Lenoir-Rhyne University’s football and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams play home games. The renovations are projected to cost $15 million and be completed before the 2022 football season begins./LRU PHOTO

School says more than $8 million of funds needed already raised

 

By CHRIS HOBBS

HobbsDailyReport.com

HICKORY – Lenoir-Rhyne University announced plans on Wednesday to raise and spend $15 million for major renovations of Moretz Stadium where it plays football and men’s and women’s lacrosse.

In a press release, school officials said they have already raised more than $8 million via private donors with a lead donation by Marilyn and John Moretz.

LRU will name its entire athletic complex — which has six key sporting venues — the Moretz Sports Athletic Campus.

“We are incredibly grateful to Marilyn and John Moretz for their generous support of this project,” Kim Pate, vice president of sports at LRU said in the press release. “The Moretz family has a long history with LR, and their support has been instrumental in positioning the athletic program and the overall University for success well into the future.”

These will be the first major renovations of Moretz Stadium since 1964. They will include new and enhanced grandstands, new entrances on the west and east sides, new concession stands and restrooms, new video boards and a new press box. In addition, there will be eight luxury suites and a club VIP seating area.

Work will begin immediately after the fall football season and renovations are expected to be completed before the 2022 football season begins.

The stadium capacity will increase to 8,200 and it could be expanded to as many as 10,000, the press release said.

A full field view of Moretz Stadium after renovations estimated to cost $15 million are completed prior to the start of the 2022 football season at Lenoir-Rhyne University. The stadium seating will increase to 8, 200./LRU PHOTO

LRU’S FULL PRESS RELEASE

HICKORY – Lenoir-Rhyne announced this week a major renovation of the Helen and Leonard Moretz Stadium, home to football and men’s and women’s lacrosse.

Called the Centennial Campaign for Moretz Stadium, the $15 million renovation will touch every aspect of the stadium. Improvements will include new and enhanced grandstands, new entrances on the west and east sides, new concession stands and restrooms, new video boards and a new press box. In addition, there will be eight luxury suites and a club VIP seating area, making Moretz Stadium one of the few Division II schools with suites and club seating.

“This will be the first major renovation to Moretz Stadium since 1964 and will significantly improve the game-day experience for our student-athletes and fans,” said Kim Pate, vice president for athletics. “This bold plan aligns with our strategic plan for athletics that calls for enhancing our facilities over the next decade.”

Fundraising to support this initiative is already underway. Thanks to early commitments from private donors, more than $8 million has already been committed to the project, including a lead gift from Marilyn and John Moretz. In honor of their gift, LR will name its entire athletic campus, which comprises six key sporting venues, the Moretz Sports Athletic Campus.

“We are incredibly grateful to Marilyn and John Moretz for their generous support of this project,” said Pate. “The Moretz family has a long history with LR, and their support has been instrumental in positioning the athletic program and the overall University for success well into the future.”

LR also received early support for the renovation from George Moretz and the Moretz Family Foundation. LR is proud that the stadium will retain its name, the Helen and Leonard Moretz Stadium. The stadium was initially named for Helen and Leonard Moretz in 1989.

Construction will begin immediately following the fall 2021 football season with the majority of the project expected to be completed before the 2022 football season. Key components of the renovation include:

— New home grandstands on the west side with wider rows and the option of seatbacks

— Renovation of the east side and end-zone bleachers to bring the total seating capacity to 8,200 with the option to expand beyond 10,000 in the future

— New press box and President’s Box

— New grand entrance on the east side, which will include a spacious plaza and covered viewing area

— New restrooms, concession areas, apparel store, and ticket booths to better meet fan expectations

— New fieldhouse that will include locker rooms and lounge space for the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams

— New video boards and sound system

— Addition of a team tunnel to improve field access, crowd flow and enhance the game-day experience

— VIP luxury suites and covered club seating area

— Walk of Champions connecting the Moretz Sports Athletic Campus venues

— New wrought iron fencing with brick columns surrounding the venue

— Lighting upgrades to better facilitate web streaming and televised productions

— Enhanced branding to showcase LR school spirit

— ADA-accessible seating, press box elevator and paved tailgate entrance

“This renovation will allow LR to provide nationally competitive facilities for our Division II athletics program, aid in recruitment of student-athletes and enhance LR’s position as a university recognized for both its academic and athletic success,” said Dr. Fred Whitt, university president.

More information on the project can be found at www.lr.edu/moretzstadium.

 

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