New stadium to be student life centerpiece on UMHB campus
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For a school of only about 3,000 students, the University of Mary Hardin Baylor has big aspirations.
"The administration at Mary Hardin Baylor wanted a football program,” Randy Mann, of UMHB Athletics said. “They wanted something for kids to be able to do and buy into the school."
Less than 15 years later, the UMHB Crusaders have become a football powerhouse in NCAA Division III.
"Our ultimate goal is to win a national championship and we're still chasing that," Mann said.
Despite their success on the field, the Crusaders never had an on-campus stadium until now.
"The more we've been in the playoffs and had to visit other campuses, we just knew that we needed one here," Mann said.
With a capacity of about 9,000 fans, the state-of-the-art facility will feature a jumbo video screen and VIP suites. The facility planners also incorporated the student union building into the project, to further connect students with the athletic program.
"There wasn't as much to do on campus for students,” Mann said. “It has tied students to the university, it gives them a reason to stay here on Saturday and the weekend to go watch the Crusaders play."
And even though they don't offer athletic scholarships, the university said the football program benefits the school’s enrollment.
Construction crews are moving quickly to be ready for the first home game this September.
It's a game they hope will launch this little school into the big time.