Many Mac athletes will play at home away from home

By Jakob Wartman

The construction of the new $41 million Macalester Athletic and Recreation Center (MARC) and the reconfiguration of the baseball and softball fields has put the squeeze on Macalester athletics. Shaw field, the fieldhouse, gym, pool, and practice fields are all gone for the 2007-2008 school year, forcing teams to look elsewhere for practice and game facilities. “It is going to be an unbelievable challenge all year,” Athletic Director Travis Feezell said. “We are lacking a home, a place to meet, practice and compete.”

Without a fieldhouse, gym or natatorium Macalester can no longer dictate practice times or game schedules and is currently dependent on the surrounding community, Feezell said. Many varsity sports will be traveling to nearby high schools and colleges to practice and compete. “The community has been awesome,” Feezell said. “I can’t tell you how good people have been to us, like Cretin Durham Hall (CDH), St. Kate’s, Hamline, St. Thomas, and Concordia-St. Paul.”

The construction of the MARC has the most impact on teams requiring gyms or pools, but no sports team have remained wholly unaffected as locker space is at a premium. This fall the stadium will house eight teams and over 200 athletes in space designed for two football teams. Bathrooms have been replaced with training rooms, additional lockers have been installed and the stadium has “been cannibalized for use anyway possible,” Feezell said.

Field space has also decreased with the reconfiguration of the baseball diamond to accommodate both baseball and softball. This construction has eliminated practice space for football, soccer, and intramurals leaving only the stadium field to practice and compete on.

Club sports must also coordinate around each other as their practice space has been downsized to the strip of land that used to be Shaw Field.

“The plan is patience,” Assistant Athletic Director Vanessa Seljeskog said. “Right now we have more club sports groups than field space available.”

“It is going to be jammed but I have to give a lot of credit to the leaders of the club teams,” Seljeskog said. “They have shown a lot of patience and enthusiasm.”

Intramurals will be relatively unaffected with outdoor intramurals playing Sunday in the stadium and indoor intramurals playing in the gym inside the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The athletic department has also created an online facility usage calendar to show the facility schedule for athletics. Seljeskog hopes groups will check the site for openings and shop for practice times and available spaces.


Volleyball is likely the most affected team by the construction, having no home matches this fall and 6:00 A.M. practices every morning at CDH high school. Next year all of Macalester’s volleyball conference games will be at home.

Basketball will also have no games at Macalester but will play its home games at St. Kate’s and split practice time between St. Kate’s and CDH.

Swimming and diving and women’s water polo will use the St. Kate and University of Minnesota pool and will not host any duel meets but will host an invitational at St. Kate’s.

Baseball and softball will likely be left homeless this year with the reconfiguration of the former baseball fields. The softball teams will most likely be returning to Dunning Field between Concordia-St. Paul and Central High School while baseball is still unknown.

Club sports plans to use the shrinking piece of Shaw Field for ultimate frisbee and Men’s rugby, but will use space at Ramsey Junior High School for women’s rugby, Seljeskog said.