Curtis Granderson Stadium Officially Breaks Ground
Sept. 17, 2013
CHICAGO -Curtis Granderson Stadium officially broke ground today, Sept. 17, 2013, in front of hundreds of invited guests at a ceremony held directly behind Les Miller Field on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Granderson, an All-Star outfielder for the New York Yankees and UIC alumni, was in Toronto during the event preparing for a three-game series against the Blue Jays. Granderson's parents, Mary and Curtis Sr., attended the event and spoke on their son's behalf.
"We are very proud of Curtis," said Mary Granderson. "It took a community to raise our son and that community is here with us today."
"You can't figure out where you are going unless you remember where you have been," said Curtis Granderson Sr. "And believe me, Curtis remembers where he is from."
Other speakers included UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, UIC Athletic Director Jim Schmidt, UIC head baseball coach Mike Dee, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Member Ric Estrada, senior baseball player Collin Weyer, Garfield Park Little League Director Frank Brim and Jackie Robinson West Little League Director Bill Haley.
"I'd like to thank the Granderson family for allowing me to be in Curtis' life," said coach Dee. "I've been in coaching for 30 years and Curtis is the most remarkable person I have ever been around. I am really proud of him as a person and proud that he came from the UIC program."
Granderson announced the multi-million dollar pledge at his Flames' jersey retirement on Feb. 6, 2013. The University Board of Trustees officially gave the project a green light with approval on May 30th.
The stadium will not only be home for UIC baseball, but more importantly serve as the anchor for the Curtis Granderson Stadium Project, a youth initiative designed to aid children of Chicago. Partnerships with Major League Baseball, the Chicago Public Schools and numerous youth league organizations have been established to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete at Curtis Granderson Stadium and the adjoining athletic fields.
UIC administration will also be involved with the program to inject an educational component, expounding on the university's sense of responsibility to contribute to the well-being of urban life.
Construction for the stadium is scheduled to be complete by the spring of 2014.