UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE LADY VOLS:
REGAL SOCCER STADIUM GROUNDBREAKING MARKS NEW DAY IN LADY VOL SOCCER
New Facility Set to Be Ready to Host NCAA Regional Finalist Virginia on Sun, 3 Sept 06
23rd February 2006
Head coach Angela Kelley and junior All-American midfielder Ali Christoph, joined Tennessee president Dr. John Petersen and athletic directors Joan Cronan and Mike Hamilton in ushering in a new home for the Lady Vol soccer program, the Regal Soccer Stadium, Thursday afternoon at the official groundbreaking ceremony.
"I would really like to thank our administration for all the work they do for us," said Kelly. "Dr. Petersen is a wonderful supporter of our program. Mike Hamilton and Joan Cronan also work so hard for us every day. You've given us everything we need to be successful."
The new stadium bears the name of Knoxville's own Regal Entertainment Group, a major contributor to UT athletics. The stadium will include seating for approximately 3,000 fans, with player support facilities below the bleachers and a media area on the upper deck. "Regal has made a substantial and continuing commitment to the success of not only our soccer program but also our overall athletics program as well," men's athletic director Mike Hamilton said. Included will be home and visiting team locker rooms and team meeting areas, a players' lounge for the Lady Vols, a video room with theatre seating and concession areas on both the lower level and upper deck.
"It's always exciting to see new facilities on our campus," commented Dr. Petersen, "as our athletics programs, both men's and women's, continue to set a standard across the world of intercollegiate athletics. The Regal Soccer Stadium will no doubt be the scene of many more exciting moments as the University of Tennessee continues its development as a national soccer power."
"The expansion of our stadium does not only reflect the commitment made to our program from such generous individuals, but it shows the dedication and commitment made by our coach," said Christoph (Columbus, Ohio). "This is not only a new stadium created by her hard work, but it is also a new opportunity for our team and program. I know that our team has been waiting for this day ever since we made the decision to attend Tennessee. This day is finally here, and I can only say that I hope, with this new stadium, that we can continue to push forward the vision of Tennessee athletics."
The Lady Vol soccer team has appeared in five straight NCAA Tournaments, including a run of three consecutive Sweet 16 advancements. The 2005 squad won the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division, regular-season and tournament championships, the second time Kelly's group has taken the SEC triple crown. Four All-Americans have emerged from the program, including Christoph's selection for this past season. "We have had a number of great moments in soccer, as Angela has led our program to new heights since taking over as head coach in 2000," said women's athletic director Joan Cronan.
"There is no doubt that the best is yet to come. We've had some great crowds and great matches on this field, and when this expansion is complete, more of our fans will be able to experience the unique excitement of Lady Vol soccer in a venue with a significant home field advantage." "This is a special day for the Regal Entertainment Group," said Regal Chief Executive Officer Mike Campbell. "We are proud to have our name associated with this wonderful facility. We have made a commitment to be a part of the University of Tennessee and its athletics program. It has had, and will continue to have, a positive impact on the quality of life in our community."
With corporate headquarters in Knoxville, Regal Entertainment Group is the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world. The company's theatre circuit, comprising Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres, operates 6,605 screens in 579 locations in 40 states. Regal operates approximately 18 percent of all indoor screens in the United States, including theatres in 44 of the top 50 U.S. markets. Architects are from Lockwood Greene, and the General Contractor is Rouse Construction Company, both of Knoxville. The first game tentatively set for the stadium is a Sunday, Sept. 3 match-up against NCAA regional finalist Virginia.