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Final touches for new stadium

Bob Ford Field upgrades UAlbany’s football and soccer programs

Most of the 8,500 seats are in place at Bob Ford Field, the new home of the University at Albany’s football and soccer teams. The stadium opens Saturday, Sept. 14, when UAlbany hosts Rhode Island in a football game.

Most of the 8,500 seats are in place at Bob Ford Field, the new home of the University at Albany’s football and soccer teams. The stadium opens Saturday, Sept. 14, when UAlbany hosts Rhode Island in a football game. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— Workers are in the midst of placing the final touches on Bob Ford Field, the new home of the University at Albany’s football and soccer teams.

Most of the 8,500 seats are in place, the giant video scoreboard is standing behind one end zone and the purple carpet has been laid on the ramp at the opposite end of the stadium that brings the teams to the field.

UAlbany athletic director Dr. Lee McElroy said that Bob Ford Field is an improvement over University Field, which is where the football team played its home games through 2012.

“When you compare it to what we had before, it’s an absolute palace,” said McElroy.

“We needed an update, and we’re very thankful that coach (Bob) Ford got us the stadium,” said UAlbany quarterback Will Fiacchi.

Bob Ford Field is part of the latest facilities update in McElroy’s 13-year term as athletic director. University Field is also being updated with a new nine-lane track as it shifts from a multi-purpose stadium into a track and field facility. John Fallon Field – the school’s lacrosse stadium – and an adjacent field hockey stadium have been open for several years.

Bob Ford Field also has the capability of being expanded. McElroy said up to 18,000 seats can be added in a second phase, once the money is in place for it.

“We built it so the infrastructure could support an expansion,” said McElroy. “We can add any seats without affecting the infrastructure.”

The new stadium isn’t only going to be a showplace for UAlbany athletics. Section II football will also hold its Class AA championships at Bob Ford Field in November after playing the game at high school facilities in previous years including Colonie and Shenendehowa.

“Dr. McElroy and coach Ford were very accommodating and very helpful in making this happen,” said Section II football coordinator Gary VanDerzee.

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