LOS ANGELES – Drake Stadium, the home of UCLA track and field, will have a new look in the near future as a three phase upgrade has begun on the historic facility. The first phase has already started with the process of laying down a new Mondo surface.
“I'm excited that our teams will soon have the opportunity to train and compete on a world class track surface,” Director of Track and Field, Mike Maynard said. “We have been blessed by the generosity of great Bruins. I want to thank Jim and Carol Collins, along with Don and Sherrie Morrison for their generous gifts, and for their willingness to join the effort to give our student-athletes and Bruin alumni an opportunity to see Drake Stadium return to the pinnacle of the sport.”
The installation of the new Mondo track at Drake stadium is the first phase of the Drake Enhancement Project. Following the demolition of the current track surfacing, which is currently underway, the new Mondo surfacing is set to be installed. The project is expected to be completed by January 17th, 2014. The former surfacing was red Tartan, while the new surfacing will be blue Mondo. The Mondo product to be placed is the latest generation of Mondo. It is the same surfacing used at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and is expected to be one of the only installations of its type in the USA. The current phase also includes expansion of the high jump area, and a reconfiguration of the shot put area.
“The upgrades to our upper and lower entries will bring the stadium in line with the UCLA campus aesthetics, and help us to create an inviting welcome to the spectators and athletes that visit Drake Stadium,” Maynard added. “The new shot area will spotlight the throwing event, and honor the tradition of great throwers at UCLA.”
Phase two of the Drake Enhancement Project is expected to take place during the summer of 2014, and December 2014. Phase two includes the upgrade of the upper main gate to Drake Stadium and Marshall Field entry, placement of a UCLA track and field recognition area, and the placement of a new "state of the art" video scoreboard. The entry upgrades will seek to highlight the stadium's namesake, Ducky Drake, and integrate the facility architecturally with the UCLA campus aesthetics. The recognition plaza, which will lie outside the main entry to Drake Stadium, will recognize Bruin track and field All Americans, National Champions, Olympic Medalists, World Champions, as well as World Record holders. The recognition area, to be known as Legacy Lane, will highlight the rich Bruin history of men's and women's track and field, and focus on the legends of Bruin track and field.
The third phase of the Drake Enhancement Project includes upgrading the current press box area to include a media, TV production platform, and offices. Anticipated plans include the placement of enclosed press/media area, and video production services area. Plans are also expected to include offices for the coaches, to be used as meet/events management and conference areas. The plans would seek to utilize the roof area of the structure as a multi-purpose terrace and TV production platform. The space offers the opportunity for the rowing team to complete their erg training, and securely store their training equipment.
The first two phases of the Drake Enhancement Project were made possible by major contributions from Jim and Carol Collins, and Don and Sherrie Morrison. These gifts along with numerous other donations to the track and field programs through the Coaches Club, have set the project well on its way towards completion. This is the first major upgrade to the facility since it was constructed. It will bring the stadium back to the forefront of NCAA track and field facilities. The enhancements to Drake Stadium promises to strengthen UCLA in its bid to host upcoming major California, national, and international competitions at Drake Stadium as it once did. UCLA is already set to host the 2015 Pac-12 Championships, and is planning to stage additional future premier NCAA and high school competitions.