The field formally used by the CSUN football team, left desolate since the university abandoned the program in 2001, is being reconfigured for use by the Track and Field team for hammer throw and discus, said Colin Donahue, director of Facilities Planning.
The project’s construction cost is about $80,000 and should be complete in a few weeks, Donahue said.
The team has started using the new facilities for practice.
The track and field team had been looking forward to practicing on the 10-acre lot west of Zelzah Avenue and north of Lassen Street, said Donald Strametz, head track and field coach.
“We need a throwing facility,” he said.
The team used to share the infield of the Matador Track with classes from the Kinesiology Department. With both the track and field team and classes being in the same place, the area was a potential safety hazard, Strametz said.
A hammer hit a judge during a competition last year, said Geoff Stocker, facilities coordinator for health and human development.
He said the Kinesiology Department’s classes usually used the area in the morning and the team in the afternoon.
Though the two groups were usually not using the area at the same time, the possibility of a freak accident was too great.
Stocker said the main reason for the move away from Matador Field was, “Because it was dangerous, the biggest concern was someone getting hurt.”
He said the team was forced to move to a dirt hill just west of the village apartments. The location did not work for the team because of the hill’s uneven ground, therefore the team needed to find a new area to practice.
Stocker said not as many people are interested to see the field events.
“It’s a big hassle,” he said.
Dale Cowper, the head shot-put coach, said safety is a benefit for the team as they move to the new field.
“I think it’s going to turn out great,” Cowper said. “The layout (of the field) will be a spectacular arena.”
Cowper said the team should start competing there too, but he doesn’t know if the stands will be reconstructed.
Cowper said the university has already added two shot-put rings and two hammer discus cages.
He said the field had been scheduled to be ready for the team by the start of the spring semester but the contractors recently told him the project would soon be done.
Strametz said he thinks the practice area could be used for competition, but he is not sure if or when that will happen.
OnTay Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.