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MVNU announces construction of Phase 2 of soccer and lacrosse stadium

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — Mount Vernon Nazarene University soccer and lacrosse fans will be cheering on the Cougars from the stands of a new stadium in the fall of 2022. Phase 2 of the project will start in the coming days and is expected to be finished in summer 2022.

Expanding on Phase 1 with the turf field, lights and scoreboard finished in 2019, the second phase will complete the project with seating for 500, locker rooms, restrooms, concessions, press box, patio seating and other amenities. The finished stadium, near the corner of Yellow Jacket and Cougar drives, is expected to enhance the game-day experience for athletes, fans, and broadcasters.

“Phase 1 was a great start to provide a playing surface that could take care of the practice and competition needs for our soccer and lacrosse teams. It has provided a tremendous space for high-quality training and competition,” said Athletic Director Chip Wilson. “Phase 2 will provide an established home for our programs where coaches and players can utilize locker room space and storage. In addition, this will also provide an outstanding spectator experience and necessary press box space for our sports information department and our livestream partners at WNZR.”

The stadium is the final piece of the Education Gateway project that includes Energy Fieldhouse at Mount Vernon High School, the Mount Vernon City School District bus garage and parking, Knox County Foundation Community Fields, Yellow Jacket Drive extension, the Mount Vernon Avenue bridge and multi-purpose trail along Cougar Drive.

“This collaboration has included the development of first-class athletic facilities that can be shared among the partners and serve as an attraction to draw athletic events and tournaments to our city,” said James Smith, Vice President for University Relations. “In addition, MVNU has partnered with the YMCA and the Mount Vernon Youth Soccer Association (Sting) for the use of the Knox County Foundation Community Fields at MVNU. This partnership has given the youth in our community a premier place to grow and develop their soccer skills and has forged a partnership between these incredible organizations.”

The $1.75-million Phase 2 is funded through the generosity of donors who have been steadfast in their support of the project since it was announced during MVNU’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2018, along with Ariel Foundation’s matching gift for every dollar raised up to $1.4 million of the overall $3.9 million complex.

“This community loves to come together,” said Smith. “Our partnership with Mount Vernon City School District to share athletic facilities inspired others to provide lead gifts for the stadium and adjoining grass community soccer fields, including Park National Bank, Knox County Foundation, Mark and Denise Ramser, Tom and Beverly Messenger, the MVNU Board of Trustees, Joe and Krystina Mortellaro (McDonald’s), TC Energy, and the South Charleston First Church of the Nazarene. Several other friends of MVNU gave sacrificially to make this dream become a reality for MVNU and this community.”

The construction timetable is not expected to disrupt game schedules. However, parking at the turf field will be impacted. Guests to MVNU soccer and lacrosse competitions, as well as those utilizing the Knox County Foundation Community Fields, are encouraged to park in the Energy Fieldhouse lot.

To learn more about Phase 2, as well as naming opportunities, visit www.mvnu.edu/future.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education both in-seat and online to more than 2,100 students from 42 states and nine foreign countries.