Potential for Marshall baseball stadium among proposals

Marshall baseball technically has three home fields, but none on or even near campus. With a recent proposal by the city of Huntington, Marshall baseball may have a field in the not-too-distant future.

The city of Huntington is looking to transform several former industrial properties between Third Avenue and the Ohio River. The proposal includes several different zones. The University Park Developmental Zone from 20th to 22nd street, which is past the Joan C. Edwards Stadium behind the Dot Hicks Softball Field, is the part which includes the proposed new baseball field. This part of the overall plan would be to improve the appeal of Marshall University.

Proposals for this zone not only call for a baseball stadium, but a conference center, hotel, places for eating, shopping and office space. Widespread speculation believes that if a baseball stadium was built in Huntington, a minor-league team would also use the complex. This occurred in Morgantown for West Virginia University when Monongalia County Ballpark opened in 2015. Along with being home for West Virginia baseball, it is also home of the West Virginia Black Bears, a single-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Marshall athletics over the past decade has built several new complexes for its sports teams which has brought success to the overall program. The Chris Cline Athletic Complex was competed in 2014, the same year the football team won its first C-USA Championship. The Hoops Family Field at the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex was finished in 2013, and hosted the Conference USA Championships in 2016. Dot Hicks Field was completed in 2008, and the softball team won the conference title in 2013.

However, Marshall baseball has long awaited a field of its own. The team practices and plays non-conference games on Route 2 in Huntington near Barboursville at the Kennedy Center YMCA Complex. For Conference USA games, the team plays in Charleston at Appalachian Power Park and in Beckley at Epling Stadium.

Patrick O’Leary can be contacted at [email protected].