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Wilkins Stadium - C. Howard Wilkins Softball Complex
Wichita State softball has called the $1.3 million Wilkins Stadium home since the 1998 season. The state-of-the-art ballpark is among the best in the Midwest.
And with another round of improvements in 2003, including covered batting cages down the left field line, a new scoreboard, and many other upgrades, WSU has set new attendance records and welcomed more fans at Wilkins Stadium than ever before.
Wilkins Stadium, which replaced the old WSU Softball Diamond that seated nearly 300 now seats 1,000 and consists of a locker room equipped with showers, coaches offices, team meeting rooms, umpires facilities, training room, a ground-level press box, ticket booth, public restrooms and concession facilities.
Wilkins Stadium, which is conducive to spectator convenience, is located southwest of baseball's Eck Stadium - Home of Tyler Field on the east side of campus.
The university recognized in the early 1990s that action would have to be taken to upgrade the facility and make it more accessible for fans. On April 6, 1994, permanent lighting was installed and dedicated during a special ceremony prior to the Oklahoma State game, which was the first night contest in WSU softball history.
Using existing student facility fees and a substantial commitment from long-time Wichita State backer C. Howard Wilkins, Sr., matched by Wilkins family and friends, construction on the project began in the summer of 1997.
The fan-friendly Wilkins Stadium is surrounded by a wooden fence, and it houses a dugout and bullpen areas down the left-field and right-field lines, as well as a batting cages down both outfield lines.
Just beyond right field, Braeburn Golf Club's 18-hole course creates a picturesque setting for the area, as do the green cedar trees running along the outfield fence. The new scoreboard stands just behind the left field fence.
During the summer of 2000, Wilkins Stadium received an additional facelift when the infield was renovated.
The $28,000 process included scraping the top four inches of the infield and replacing it with new topsoil. A new irrigation was also installed for the infield, as well as a new drainage system. The field was releveled and sloped properly, and the warning track was enhanced.
The process was made possible by gifts from Howard Wilkins, Sr. and an anonymous doner, in addition to work provided by Ritchie Paving and Construction Inc., Green-Glo Turf Maintenance and Keith Wirth's excavation.
Wilkins Stadium also serves as a host for summer tournaments and other events. It, along with the Sheldon Coleman Tennis Complex and Eck Stadium-Home of Tyler Field, are considered among the finest on-campus facilities in their respective sports in the Midwest and in the nation.
Map To Wilkins Stadium - C. Howard Wilkins Softball Complex