FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) – In a tribute to the accomplishments of its men's and women's track and field programs, the University of Arkansas Athletic Department is set to begin construction of a new entrance and a series of championship exhibits for John McDonnell Field, the Razorbacks' outdoor track and field facility. The entrance project will highlight the history and continued excellence of Razorback track and field with focus on the programs' team and individual successes.
The entrance and plaza areas will be designed by Modus Studio with Flintco, Inc., serving as the general contractor. With construction scheduled to begin this month, the five-month timeline is aimed at a mid-November finish. The features of the project will be built outside of the facility gates to allow fans access year round.
The new entrance will feature an eight foot bronze statue of legendary former head coach John McDonnell who led the men's program to 40 NCAA championships including five national triple crowns, 84 conference championships and 184 All-America performers.
On either side of the scoreboard in the north end of the facility, two exhibit areas will be constructed with one dedicated to the Razorbacks' NCAA team titles and one highlighting the programs' Olympians and World Championship participants. The scoreboard is also set to be bricked and sealed off with an affixed Razorback logo that will be illuminated at night. A second element of the project will highlight the University of Arkansas' All-Americans and team conference titles.
The John McDonnell Field enhancement project is the latest investment in the Razorbacks' championship track and field programs which has recently included the construction of the Fowler Family Baseball and Track Training Center, which is located on the north side of the Randal Tyson Track Center. The indoor training center will also for throwing events to be held on site along with providing an expanded warm-up area that includes four 60-meter sprint lanes. Prior to the 2014 season, the track surface at John McDonnell Field was resurfaced. John McDonnell Field remains one of only four IAAF Class 1 certified track and field complexes in the U.S. and was the first such facility on a collegiate campus.
In addition to its numerous regular-season meets, John McDonnell Field has earned national attention as the previous host site for the 2009 NCAA Championships, 2006 SEC Championships, 2008 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships and most recently, the 2014 NCAA West Preliminary. The entrance to John McDonnell Field is located on the northwest corner of the facility at the intersection of Meadow Street and Razorback Road.