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Essex County to Renovate Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field & Four Tennis Courts

July 13, 2015


Newark, N.J. –
Seton Hall’s softball and tennis programs will be receiving facility upgrades as Essex County will renovate both Mike Sheppard Sr. Field and the four tennis courts that are contained within the county’s Ivy Hill Park, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced Monday. Seton Hall University is partnering with Essex County to modernize the softball facility. Completion of both projects is expected to be in September.

“Providing first-class recreation facilities and making sure our parks and open spaces continue to meet the needs of the community have been initiatives of my administration since day one. The work we are doing at the tennis courts and softball/little league field are the latest phases to revitalize Ivy Hill Park,” DiVincenzo said. “Essex County and Seton Hall University have enjoyed a long relationship, especially in this park. While our children and residents will enjoy the new facilities, Seton Hall’s athletic teams will benefit from the improved playing conditions. We are pleased to be partnering with the University on this latest phase,” he added.

“Providing a first-class experience to our student-athletes is a top priority, and our partnership with Essex County will help deliver a modern softball facility and tennis courts that will help us compete for BIG EAST championships while also giving the Essex County community a terrific place to play,” Seton Hall University Vice President and Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons said. “The improvements to Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field and the tennis courts will be the latest facility project our department has taken on over the last few years as we continue to show our recruits, fans, students and alumni that Seton Hall University is the perfect place to get a world-class education and compete at the highest level of athletics.”

Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field, owned and operated by Essex County, has been the home for Pirates softball since 2005. The field is named for the legendary Pirates baseball head coach who led Seton Hall to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back College World Series berths in 1974-75. The improvements to the facility include: brand new synthetic turf both on the infield and the outfield; raised bleachers that will increase the capacity to 700 and will provide for better viewing angles; a press box that will accommodate game operations as well as television and radio productions; batting cages within the bullpens for both home and away teams; bench seating and cubbies within each dugout.

The four tennis courts are being completely rebuilt with a new playing surface, surface coating, fencing, nets and trash receptacles. The courts will also include new lights.

Keeping its mission of providing a top notch experience for its student-athletes, Seton Hall Athletics continues to transform facilities, giving the Pirates some of the best spaces, not only in the BIG EAST, but the entire nation. Within just the last two years under Lyons, the athletics department has opened the Charles W. Doehler Academic Center, the Center for Sports Medicine, the new recreation & fitness center, the new Varsity Weight Room, the Varsity Film Room and the new Varsity Locker Rooms. In addition, a new LED scoreboard was added to Owen T. Carroll Field.