The Terrapins baseball team announced major renovations to Bob “Turtle” Smith stadium Monday afternoon.
An all-turf field will be installed, a closed-off home bullpen will be built and the outfield fences will be moved back, according to a press release. A timetable for the renovations was not announced.
In the past, the Terps have had drainage problems in the outfield, which is the grass portion of the field — the current infield is already turf. Under the new enhancements, there will be a drainage system underneath the synthetic turf surface to help the outfield.
The Terps’ new bullpen is designed to help protect relief pitchers. Previously, the home team’s bullpen was a mound and patch of dirt in the left field foul territory with no fences or walls.
The outfield fence, meanwhile, will be moved back an unspecified distance.
“These improvements to our home park will provide our players one of the top surfaces in the country to perform on,” coach John Szefc said in the release. “This is a great step forward for our program.”
The changes will be paid for by state funds, philanthropic contributions and general athletic department revenue, according to the release.
These enhancements to the stadium, which has been the Terps’ home for the past 63 years, come after the best stretch in program history. The Terps have made two consecutive trips to the Super Regionals, a stage the school had never reached until two seasons ago. This past season, the Terps eliminated the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, UCLA, to advance to the Super Regionals.
“Our baseball program has made significant strides and is now recognized nationally,” Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said in the release. “Our vision for this project is to upgrade Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to create a safer playing surface for our students and maximize their performance.”