The City of DeLand and Stetson University Athletics will be hosting a ceremonial ribbon cutting for Melching Field at Conrad Park on Saturday, Feb. 11. Gates will open to the public at 5:30 p.m., with the ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at 6 p.m.
The ceremony celebrates the completion of an $8 million renovation project, making Melching Field at Conrad Park one of the elite college baseball facilities in the country. Fans will be greeted outside the gates by members of the 2023 Stetson baseball team, who will be available for an autograph session.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin with a performance by the Stetson University Men’s Choir and include remarks by city and university officials, including Rick Hall, Parks & Recreation director; DeLand Mayor Chris Cloudman; Stetson University President Chris Roellke; Director of Athletics Jeff Altier; and Hatter head baseball coach Steve Trimper. The ceremony will culminate with a video and light show.
The recent renovations to Melching Field at Conrad Park highlight a continued partnership between the City of DeLand and Stetson University Athletics, dating back to the original construction of Melching Field, which opened its gates Feb. 12, 1999. Over the past year, the Home of the Hatters underwent a complete renovation of the playing surface that encompasses a new irrigation system and synthetic turf outside of the playing surface, creating a more consistent playing experience. The outfield was made shorter in distance, increasing the likelihood of home runs, and fence padding was added to protect the players.
Fans will enjoy a new sound system, state-of-the-art videoboard and an energy-efficient LED field-lighting system that is capable of producing light shows during games. Chairback seating with cupholders has been added throughout the stadium, and premium seating areas include field-level seats, drink rail seats and low top half-moon table seats with swivel chairs.
In addition, the bullpens have moved to the outfield, replaced by seating options that can be reserved for special events. Those seating areas feature high-top chairs, picnic tables, an outdoor kitchen, a grassy berm and a student section.
Melching Field at Conrad Park, one of the most picturesque, fan-friendly stadiums in the nation, enters its 24thseason as home of the Stetson University baseball program. “The Mac,” as it’s popularly known, has provided the Hatters a homefield advantage while also serving as a NCAA Regional Tournament site and a 12-time host stadium for the ASUN Tournament.
Stetson’s baseball program opens its season at Melching Field on Friday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Season and individual game tickets are available online at www.gohatters.com/tix or through the Hatter Ticket Office by calling 386-738-HATS(4287) and via email: Hattertickets@stetson.