Reverend Harold Ridley, S.J., Athletic Complex
2221 West Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21211
Loyola University Maryland celebrated the grand opening and dedication of The Reverend Harold Ridley, S.J., Athletic Complex on Saturday, March 13, 2010 the men's lacrosse team hosted Duke University in the first intercollegiate game at the stadium.
The Ridley Athletic Complex is home of Loyola's NCAA Division I men's and women's lacrosse and soccer teams. It features a 6,000-seat grandstand; Sportexe Momentum synthetic turf competition field; video scoreboard; practice field; training facilities; locker rooms for home teams, visitors, coaches and officials; athletics staff offices; press, presidential, and VIP boxes; concession areas; and event space.
"This highly anticipated facility represents an extraordinary step forward for Loyola's already outstanding athletics program," said University President Brian F. Linnane, S.J. "This state-of-the-art complex will allow us to continue to attract student-athletes of the highest caliber, host a broader range of post-season events, enhance pride in Loyola and the Greyhounds, and create new opportunities to connect with our neighbors in Baltimore."
"I am thrilled that we will inaugurate the Ridley Athletic Complex playing Duke, one of the nation's greatest men's lacrosse programs," said then-Loyola Athletic Director Joseph Boylan. "We're looking forward to an exciting contest and a terrific celebration not just for Loyola students, parents, alumni, and friends, but for Greyhound fans throughout Baltimore and beyond."
Construction on the $62 million Ridley Athletic Complex began in spring 2006. A key priority of Loyola's most recent capital campaign, the Ridley Athletic Complex attracted the largest individual gift in University history -- an anonymous contribution of $5 million through which the facility was named in honor of late Loyola President Harold Ridley, S.J. Fr. Ridley was one of the project's first champions.
Prior to the opening game, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Archbishop of Baltimore His Excellency Edwin O'Brien and Fr. Linnane dedicated the complex to Fr. Ridley.
Additionally, the playing field, which will house the Loyola men's and women's lacrosse and soccer programs, was dedicated to J. Richard Awalt from the Class of 1950. The practice facility, just yards south of the competitive playing surface, was named for Sean Lugano.
Rawlings-Blake, the Mayor of the City of Baltimore, first thanked Loyola to its commitment to the city and for making this dream a reality.
"Father Ridley and Terry Sawyer came to my office with a plan for this facility. At first I thought it was far-fetched, but Father Ridley was so calm, and I quickly realized that it was a wonderful plan, and I am so pleased today to be standing in Father Ridley Stadium," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake.
Following Mayor Rawlings-Blake, His Excellency Edwin O'Brien, the Archbishop of Baltimore, then asked for God's blessing for the field, stadium and those who will work and play on it.
Finally, Father Linnane thanked the Loyola community for celebrating this momentous occasion in University and Greyhounds history.
"This day marks the beginning of a new era in the rich tradition of Loyola's Greyhounds athletics programs, and in the life of our University," added Father Linnane. "I am thrilled to share our joy, our excitement, and our pride with all of you.
"We are deeply indebted to the anonymous alumnus and friend whose exceptionally generous gift inspired the naming of this Complex; to J. Richard Awalt of the Class of 1950, for whom this field is named; to the Friends of Sean Lugano, whose support is recognized in the naming of the field to our south; and to the many donors whose enormous generosity can be seen in every corner of this Complex.
"Thank you for all you have done to support the future of Loyola and our Greyhounds. Today marks the realization of the extraordinary dream of one man, a person and a leader I am honored to have called my friend--Fr. Harold Ridley, my predecessor and Loyola's 23rd President. Without his vision, dedication, and tenacity, this day and the triumphs that will follow would not have been possible.
"It is quite fitting that this remarkable new facility bears his name--and today, we dedicate it in his memory and his honor. I am honored this afternoon to welcome his Excellency, Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, who will bless the Ridley Athletic Complex."