Feb. 9, 2013
Shaping the Student-Athlete Experience at Fowler Park
By Pat Tangen
Principal / Project Manager
As the conceptual design process began for Fowler Park, we set out with a number of goals in mind. We wanted Fowler Park to symbolize the future of Torero athletics. We wanted the ballpark to be integrated with the campus. We wanted to elevate the fan experience for those who attend a game at the new ballpark. The over-arching goal of this was to have the fans never lose sight of the playing field once they enter the ballpark. We wanted to create a recruiting tool for the coaches and the team moving forward. We wanted a facility that was representative of the team's trajectory....that planned not only for the existing team but for where the program is headed. And finally, we wanted to create a facility that enhanced the student-athlete experience for the Toreros men's baseball team.
As a father with a son who plays a lot of youth baseball, this last goal was an important one to me personally. We designed Fowler Park for game day, but we also considered the student-athletes who would be using the field to practice, the facilities to train and the clubhouse to meet. Prior to Fowler Park and the Torero Clubhouse being renovated and constructed, the team was without a space to call their own. They shared space in Jenny Craig Pavilion and Torero Stadium with a number of other athletics programs on campus, including their locker rooms and team meeting space. The new Torero Baseball Clubhouse provides a substantial, and much needed resource and recruiting tool, to the team. This state-of-the-art facility is a one stop shop for the men's baseball team, with access to an equipment room, locker room, players' lounge space, a training room and coaches offices just adjacent to the field. It is equal to the kind of facilities we provide to major league baseball clients, and the accessibility of these resources means the average day for a baseball student athlete at USD has changed substantially.
In order to further transform the experience for Torero student athletes, we considered what a typical day for them would include and the design reflects this. Players have access to their own lounge space with a gaming area and space to discuss and review what has happened on the field, which is connected to a study area for players to use between practices. The locker room and showers, of Major League Baseball quality, are located directly next to the lounge. Training and rehab space and indoor hitting are also positioned adjacent to the lounge. A small lobby, with space for players to store their shoes once they get off the field, connects the entire clubhouse to the state-of-the-art dugout, so student athletes can work, train, study and play without having to leave the building, revolutionizing their day-to-day experience at the University of San Diego.