Monday, May 20

IM field to reopen after two years out of commission


UCLA will get back nine valuable acres of playing field after
two long years of waiting due to parking structure
construction.

Students will be able to play on the intramural field next to
Drake stadium starting Aug. 4, said Mick Deluca, director of
cultural and recreational affairs.

“We may have some programming before the end of summer,
but the field will be in full use by the start of fall
quarter,” Deluca said.

Playing field space was limited even before the construction of
the parking structure.

Deluca said that UCLA has less playing field area in comparison
to other major universities.

To deal with the lack of the intramural field, various sports
had to be modified.

Deluca said teams had to resort to indoor soccer, the use of
soft-core restricted flight softballs and reduced flag football
teams.

Even with the advent of the new field, however, modified sports
will not disappear.

“A lot of students enjoyed these modified sports,”
Deluca said, “we plan to keep indoor soccer.”

Some sports will make a comeback because of the availability of
the new intramural field.

Sports such as regulation softball and golf will come back in
the fall after a two-year absence. Students can take advantage of
an early morning golf range, Deluca said.

The new intramural field will be different from its predecessor
and will be completely level, and have better drainage and
irrigation, he said.

Deluca said the surrounding lights will allow people to use the
field longer.

The adjustment for intramural sports included the usage of other
venues to stage games, including the North Athletic Field for
sports like soccer and football, said Sharat Batra, third-year
mechanical engineering student and athletics director for the
Interfraternity Council.

The availability of times to play was linked to the availability
of space. Often, teams could only sign up on the weekends, when
many students went home, Batra said.

“During the week, the Wooden Center has primary control of
the fields and they have so many sports,” Batra said.

Another sport affected by the lack of space was soccer. In order
to deal with the limited availability, teams have had to field six
player teams as opposed to the usual eleven-a-side team, Batra
said.

Batra said that for students, one of the biggest advantages of
opening the new intramural field is its increased availability to
those who are not in intramural sports programs.

“People can play pick-up games and won’t be forced
to play off campus,” Batra said.

The lack of the intramural field has also effected
non-sports-related student events.

Some events, such as the Jazz/Reggae festival, had to be moved
over to Drake stadium, enforcing restrictions on attendance, Deluca
said.

Organizers of the recent Jazz/Reggae festival had to raise
ticket prices for non-students and pay more for security at Drake
than at the intramural field.

Organizers had to raise prices to compensate for the smaller
capacity associated with the stadium, said Dana Shayegan,
co-director of the event.

“There are only two emergency exits for Drake and we
needed more security to direct traffic and prevent people from
jumping onto the intramural field,” Shayegan said.

The intramural field was built to hold more people, consequently
having more exit doors on the side, Shayegan said.

The intramural field parking structure project was undertaken in
September 2001, and is scheduled to be completed in August.

Estimated cost for the entire project was $39 million, according
to UCLA Capital Programs.

The structure provides 1,200 additional parking spaces on two
levels beneath the intramural field.

Other project impacts included fenced off sidewalks near Pauley
Pavilion and increased traffic due to truck hauls on Charles E.
Young Drive West.

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