Regional Sports Stadium is a finished product
The "bubble" is slated to go up at Rochester Regional Stadium on Friday, kicking off a winter of indoor baseball, soccer, softball and other sports on the campus of Rochester Community and Technical College. But this winter, one thing will be notably absent from the bubble: portable toilets.
Instead, athletes, coaches and parents will have access to new restrooms in the recently completed stadium entrance building. Those restrooms are part of the $6 million, third-and-final phase of stadium construction that was celebrated Tuesday with a short program and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Among the keynote speakers at the grand opening was Ed Hruska, executive director of the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission.
"This facility has already created memories and will continue to create them for people of all ages and experiences," he said. "I'm excited to see my grandkids play out here someday."
Added in the third phase of construction were:
• 3,500 additional seats and a visitor's pressbox.
• Four changing rooms for athletes, located under the west bleachers.
• Permanent ticketing booths.
• Permanent concession locations beneath the west bleachers, as well as in the entrance building for use during the "bubble" season.
• Men's, women's and family restrooms.
The Rochester Regional Stadium was more than a decade in the making. Among the stadium's biggest beneficiaries has been Lourdes High School, which uses it as the Eagles' home field.
Marv Peters, activities director at Lourdes, was involved in the first first meetings about the stadium when it was just an idea. He spoke Tuesday about what it means to have that vision turned into reality.
"Look at what we've got out here on the east side of Rochester," he said. "Youth football fields. Youth soccer fields, Youth baseball fields. And now, the completed Rochester Regional Stadium. It's not just for Rochester -- it's the whole region that is able to enjoy this stadium. And we also need to thank the people who come to Rochester and pay the sales tax and helped us get this thing done."
Funding for the final phase of construction came through an extension of Rochester's local sales tax, approved by voters in November 2012.
Hruska concluded his remarks by thanking a host of people who helped bring the project to a successful finish, then tossed out a final idea for the stadium.
"There's one name that we haven't mentioned that's really missing, and we're also missing a name on this facility," Hruska said. "We named our Sports Commission Member of the Year Award after Denny Hanson, and Denny always found a way to make sure these things happened. His leadership was critical in making sure all these things got done."