All signs are pointing to UC Davis Health’s increasing commitment to UC Davis Athletics and the Davis community overall.
You can see it in the “UC Davis Health Stadium” sign that was unveiled Friday night (Aug. 16) at the main gate to the athletic facility formerly known as Aggie Stadium, the only name it had had since it opened in 2007. The student-athletes of football and women’s lacrosse, who play their games in the stadium, joined Chancellor Gary S. May, Athletics Director Kevin Blue and head football coach Dan Hawkins for the sign unveiling, which took place during the annual Football Fan Fest. See separate story about the Fan Fest and the football team’s No. 1 fan.
“Today’s a celebration of the teamwork that makes us thrive as academics, athletes and Aggies as a whole,” the chancellor said in his prepared remarks. “I’d like to start by recognizing the partnership between the Davis campus, our Sacramento campus that hosts UC Davis Health, and Intercollegiate Athletics.
“Together, no matter what side of the causeway we’re on, we are all one team. And, that’s the spirit we’re showing with UC Davis Health Stadium.”
UC Davis Health and UC Davis Athletics struck a 20-year expanded partnership deal, announced last November, that includes the right to name the stadium. In addition to the main gate, the name appears on the press box and light pole banners, among other places.
If you stand at the main gate and look north, just past the statue of Coach Jim Sochor, you can see another sign of the growing partnership: a construction project at the corner of La Rue Road and Hutchison Drive, on acreage formerly used for tailgating. (Tailgating has been moved to “Champions Corridor” on La Rue Road in front of the stadium.)
Besides a practice field, the site will include a new building, the Student-Athlete Performance Center, where UC Davis Health will operate a sports medicine practice for student-athletes and the public.
The field with real turf is going in first, and is expected to open in the fall. Work on the Student-Athlete Performance Center, comprising the construction of approximately 38,000 square feet of new space and the renovation of 16,000 square feet of space in the Bob Foster Team Center, on the stadium’s north perimeter, is scheduled to start next year.