As you probably know, in February we announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art baseball stadium. This project would not be possible without the generosity of Santa Clara University alum Stephen Schott, who donated $4 million of the $7.5 million project. His dedication to this university and its athletics program will forever be remembered through the Stephen Schott Baseball Stadium.
We are on an ambitious plan to raise the remaining $3.5 million in order to begin construction. Like many capital projects on this and other campuses across the country, we must have the entire balance necessary to complete the project committed prior to beginning construction.
The stadium, which received the necessary approval from the Santa Clara City Council to revise its El Camino Real master plan, will be a jewel among baseball facilities on the West Coast. It will provide permanent seating for 1,500 fans, including a number of chairback and VIP seating areas. Additionally, a there will be a VIP Suite, first-class clubhouse and locker rooms, a hitting center, press area, ticket office, concessions, restrooms and parking.
The completion of this project will be the final component necessary to provide our athletics program with the finest facilities in the West Coast Conference and some of the best on the entire West Coast.
Not only will this stadium benefit our baseball program, it will allow us to reconfigure our entire athletics facilities to provide much needed greenspace for intramurals, club sport and recreational use. As importantly, it will also give us the ability to make Buck Shaw Stadium a soccer-only facility and not have to go through the annual process of transitioning the field for baseball in the spring and soccer in the fall.
I share the same excitement that is felt by our baseball coach, Mark O'Brien, and his team. Mark has been able to recruit some of the most talented high school baseball players in the country and we all look forward to watching his program return to the NCAA Championships and SCU's first College World Series appearance since 1962!
I want to publicly congratulate Dick Davey on his 200th career win and his 100th career WCC win this season. In his 12 seasons as the head coach of the Broncos and his over 26-year association with this institution, Dick has maintained a program that has always reflected Santa Clara's values and mission. He will be quick to say that he did not achieve this milestone on his own and he always gives credit to his former players and staff. But, he has worked hard to give Bronco fans a program they can be proud of and a hearty congratulations is well deserved!
His Bronco team finished the season with a .500 record but gave us plenty of memorable moments. Nine of our opponents qualified for postseason tournament play, including five in the NCAA Tournament. We played Southeastern Conference champion Mississippi State and Villanova from the Big East to overtime. And, that one-point loss to third-ranked Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament semifinal on ESPN was one WCC basketball fans will be talking about for ages.
I also want to thank our loyal Bronco basketball fans and the student body for their support this season. We enjoyed a 77 percent increase in attendance this year, which places us third in the WCC after a we experienced a couple of down years in this area. We have a great team coming back and we are all looking forward to competing for a league title and returning the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament.