UALR’s soccer team began its first official day of practice Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the newly opened Coleman Sports and Recreation Complex, located behind University Village residence hall near the intersection of University and Asher Avenues.
The NCAA-approved facility boasts stadium lights, a scoreboard and a press box with internet capability that will house the UALR media and sports information work areas. A grandstand, with a press box atop, provides seating for 300 people, with room for additional seating being left on both sides of the grandstand. A parking lot with more than 130 spaces sits behind the grandstand.
UALR will play its first soccer game at the new facility at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, against Austin Peay. The Trojans finished the 2011 season with a 7-13-0 record, including a 3-8-0 mark in Sun Belt Conference play.
The $5 million project, part of a 2009 bond issue approved by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, was made possible by gift of land presented to UALR by the sons of dairyman Walter C. “Buddy” Coleman. The land was the site of the Coleman family’s dairy, which has been providing fresh milk and other dairy products to central Arkansas since the Civil War.
The new complex features a soccer field and eight-lane track with state-of-the-art Polytan synthetic surfacing, two intramural fields that can be set up for softball, and sites for long jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put, discus and hammer, and javelin competitions.
“Little Rock was the largest city in the country without an all-weather, all-purpose track,” said Chris Peterson, UALR Director of Athletics. “The city has been unable to host any kind of a track meet in decades. That has affected the opportunities of an enormous amount of young people who participated in track and field over the years. So you can imagine how thrilled we are about the opening of this new complex.”