A benefactor’s contribution will transform one of Binghamton University’s athletic facilities into a first-of-its-kind in the region.
The anonymous donor family will fund a $60 million project — largest donation in BU history — to enhance the baseball complex, making it a state-of-the-art facility featuring amenities to go with a new grandstand structure built around the existing field footprint.
“This gift will help put Binghamton University into the upper echelons of Division I schools,” university president Harvey Stenger said. “This unprecedented gift perfectly matches donor passion and the strategic needs for the campus, and it is my hope that it will inspire others to give back to the area of campus that they are most passionate about.”
In 2016, an anonymous donor provided $2.2 million to upgrade the baseball field with synthetic turf and lighting.
The upcoming project will construct an 84,000-square-foot facility that will include a clubhouse and indoor training facility with turf infield.
“The new baseball complex will be a one-of-a-kind facility in this region and will be better than most Division I programs across the country. It will rival the outstanding facilities of many programs that compete in Power 5 conferences,” said Tim Sinicki, a Johnson City High graduate who is a six-time America East Baseball Coach of the Year. He begins his 28th season at BU, making him 10th-longest tenured baseball coach in Division I.
“Our goal will be to utilize this new complex to continue to recruit the highest-caliber student-athletes, develop their baseball skills in these new cutting-edge facilities and provide them an experience they will carry with them long after they graduate from Binghamton,” he said.
Construction may commence this month.
In the six years prior to the 2016 donation, BU received a combined $3.1 million in contributions, according to NCAA financial disclosure records obtained from the university through a Freedom of Information Law request. Donations include individual and corporate gifts, funds received for outside debt service and tickets sold over face value.
But since fiscal year 2017 — the same year the university received a donation to upgrade its baseball facility — donations to the department have increased. The athletic department brought in $1.8 million in gifts for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
Binghamton has increased its spending on athletics from $3.3 million in direct institutional support during the 2010 fiscal year to $4.4 million in 2019, according to records. The $1.1 million increase over nine years represents a 34-percent increase.
Via AP StoryShare