Loyola University Maryland will celebrate the grand opening and dedication of The Reverend Harold Ridley, S.J., Athletic Complex on Saturday, March 13, when its men’s lacrosse team, ranked No. 10 in the nation, takes on the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils. Gates open at 1 p.m; game time is 3 p.m.
The Ridley Athletic Complex will be the home of Loyola’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer teams. It features a 6,000-seat grandstand; Sportexe Momentum synthetic turf competition field; video scoreboard; practice field; training facilities; locker rooms for home teams, visitors, coaches and officials; athletics staff offices; press, presidential, and VIP boxes; concession areas; and event space.
“This highly anticipated facility represents an extraordinary step forward for Loyola’s already outstanding athletics program,” said University President Brian F. Linnane, S.J. “This state-of-the-art complex will allow us to continue to attract student-athletes of the highest caliber, host a broader range of post-season events, enhance pride in Loyola and the Greyhounds, and create new opportunities to connect with our neighbors in Baltimore.”
In addition to the game, the March 13 celebration will include a blessing of Awalt Field, the Complex's main field named for J. Richard Awalt by Archbishop O'Brien; and speeches by Governor Martin O'Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. There will also be a Loyola Kid Zone featuring face painting, temporary tattoos, and games; commemorative t-shirts; and more.
“I am thrilled that we will inaugurate the Ridley Athletic Complex playing Duke, one of the nation’s greatest men’s lacrosse programs,” said Loyola Athletic Director Joseph Boylan. “We’re looking forward to an exciting contest and a terrific celebration not just for Loyola students, parents, alumni, and friends, but for Greyhound fans throughout Baltimore and beyond.”
Construction on the $62 million Ridley Athletic Complex began in spring 2006. A key priority of Loyola’s most recent capital campaign, the Ridley Athletic Complex attracted the largest individual gift in University history—an anonymous contribution of $5 million through which the facility was named in honor of late Loyola President Harold Ridley, S.J. Fr. Ridley was one of the project’s first champions.
In addition to the dedication of the overall Ridley Athletic Complex, March 13 will also feature the dedication of the Sean Lugano Memorial Field, a practice field named in memory of Sean Lugano, ’95, one-time captain of Loyola’s club rugby team. Lugano died in the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks, and his family and friends raised more than $1 million to name the field—the new home of Loyola’s club rugby team—in his honor. The dedication will take place at halftime of a Loyola club rugby scrimmage against a visiting team to be announced in the weeks to come.
The Ridley Athletic Complex is located at 2221 West Cold Spring Lane in Baltimore. For more information on the Ridley Athletic Complex, or to buy tickets to the game, visit www.loyola.edu/ridleyathletic.
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