Hancock Stadium: ISU's 'field of dreams'

By Anna Yee

Hancock Stadium: ISU's 'field of dreams'

June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 21, 2013 at 6:52 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- "Anytime you build something, they typically come," said Larry Lyons, the incoming Director of Athletics at Illinois State University.

Hancock Stadium is Illinois State University's own field of dreams.

Renovations to the nearly 50-year-old football field started last summer.

The facility is scheduled to open in time for the first home game September 21st.

"Being a part of the planning process and being in the room when we decided what was a good idea or what we needed to change or how to tweak the thing, it's fun to see it come out of the ground," said Lyons. "This is really what we thought it was going to look like."

Among the upgrades are seven suites, an indoor club, and handicap and bleacher-back seating for the general public.

Athletes say a better crowd experience will help them step up their game.

"Our team has seen a lot of changes at this school," said Cameron Meredith, an ISU junior and wide receiver, "so when we see our community and our school give us that support, it's really going to make us play a lot better, so we're really excited about it."

Even the coaches are excited.

"I think it's going to help recruiting quite a bit," said Brock Spack, the ISU football head coach. "I think our level of player we've been able to attract here now is getting better every year, and now with this, it's obvious something is being done... And now we have a really nice facility to play in, so it's impressive."

Recruitment doesn't stop with the players.

Lyons says the new stadium will draw in more business.

"we think that there will be some really good community use for a reception, or a lunch in, or a business meeting, or something along those lines," said Lyons. "We just think it'll be another amenity."

And once Hancock Stadium is completely built, up to roughly 13,000 redbird fans will be ready to come and watch.

You can track renovation progress and find more information about Hancock Stadium online at www.GoRedBirds.com or by clicking on the link above.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.