It's a historic day for Grizzly athletics as the groundbreaking event for the new Griz softball stadium took place this morning at the South Campus Field.
"It's a very exciting day we are thrilled with the opportunity to build this field here and do it with such a fast time frame that it will be ready for our very first game with our own stadium," said UM President Royce Engstrom.
"This is a monumental day for young woman across this state and throughout this region who will come here and have the opportunity to pursue their academic careers and their athletic careers right here at the University of Montana," said UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam.
It was not always in the cards that a stadium would be built in time for the first season or two. Initially the Griz were looking to maybe play at Sentinel. Coach Pinkerton says getting their own field will be huge for the program.
"It does several things it gives our student athletes a home and we don't have to shuttle that first year and half and then obviously when you are playing on campus you have a better opportunity of getting a better crowd," said Pinkerton.
The irrigation lines need to be switched around but after that construction will begin in the coming weeks.
"Every day, I will be driving by every day and giving our fans updates and everything," said Pinkerton.
The field will be entirely made of synthetic turf, no grass or dirt which will help with the Montana weather. And as far as a completion date goes….
"Well first pitch is March 18th so we better have it done by March 18th. Getting the turf down will be the key part as it will be an all turf field so getting the turf down before it gets cold will be the real key," said Haslam.