By Alex Dynan
RICHMOND, Va.–Sports are an important part of any university. They bring in students, donors and bring out the best in school spirit.
On the for front of VCU Sports is the Men’s Basketball team. With back to back CAA regular season championships, one CAA tournament title and one of the top players in the nation in point guard Eric Maynor, the team steals the headlines and the fans.
But in a recent sit-down with Norwood Teague, the VCU Athletic Director had a lot to say about the other successful sports that VCU has to offer.
Teague mentioned two VCU sports in particular saying, “We have had a long history of successful Olympic sports over the past 10 or 15 years. Soccer, both Men and Women have done extremely well. Our tennis, men and women, have won 10 to 15 CAA championships over the last 15 years. They are certainly two teams you want to keep your eye on.”
But you also have to keep an eye on the facilities these teams play in. The Thalhimer Tennis Center, where VCU plays it tennis matches, might be receiving an upgrade. Teague says, “What we want to do is build an entire new facility, probably featuring eight indoor courts and 12 to 16 outdoor courts.” No time table has been set for this project.
The VCU Rams Men’s Baseball team will also be on the move after the 2009 season. The team’s plans hinge on whether or not there will be a new stadium in Downtown Richmond. If there is a new minor league baseball team and new stadium in Shockoe Bottom, Teague says, “We plan to follow the team down there and follow that owner down there and have a shared facility down in that development, which would be great for VCU Baseball.”
VCU will know by March 1st, 2009 what the cities plans are with the new stadium.
But there is some uncertainty surrounding Men’s and Women’s Soccer and Track and where they will play if Sports Backers Stadium is closed because of the North Boulevard construction project. According to Teague, “We don’t know what will happen out at the Boulevard property as of now… but we really don’t know, and it’s a little bit up in the air.