Five Of The Best Stadiums In College Softball
College softball stadiums have come a tremendously long way in the last two decades. Fueled by millions of dollars nationwide, Division I programs are home to some of the nicest softball stadiums out there, which are small gems scattered throughout the country hosting up to 4,000 fans at a time.
Recent renovations over the past five years have demonstrated that athletic departments and donors are no longer seeing collegiate softball as an afterthought, putting the sport’s facilities and fields at the forefront of college campuses.
There are plenty of great college softball stadiums to choose from, but we selected five of the best ones below.
Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
The first major investment into Florida's softball program came when UF broke ground on a $2.6 million stadium in February of 1996. Since then, it’s seen renovations worth as much as $15 million, and it now stands as one of the nicest venues in college softball. It originally sat 1,200 fans and had room for enclosed batting cages, a training room and an enclosed press box. Then, in 2001, a 2,300 square-foot locker room, team room and equipment room were added to the complex. In 2017, the university announced a massive renovation project to the stadium that ultimately cost $15 million.
Not only did it expand capacity to 2,800, but it also opened up the concourse to ensure there were no obstructed views of the field. Fortified with brick, the press box is elevated above the concourse and has shading structures for fans on the first- and third-base lines. The stadium now features expanded dugouts, a larger player lounge and a new locker room. Florida welcomed Japan’s national softball team on February 12, 2019, to christen the new stadium, and on May 26 of that year, the Gators set an attendance record when 3,140 fans watched their game against Tennessee.
Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium
Initially opened in 2000, this stadium has been renovated twice and now stands as one of the nicest in college softball. Through 22 seasons, it has also bore witness to 20 NCAA Tournament teams, 10 Super Regionals squads, nine WCWS groups and two national championship–winning teams for the Sun Devils. The stadium holds 1,535 fans with a grassy seating area beyond the right-field fence for fans to lounge on. Chair-back bleachers and individual seats wrap from third to first base and are covered from the dry Arizona heat by a metal overhang created by solar panels that were added during the stadium’s 2014 renovations.
In-ground dugouts are illuminated for night games, and there is direct access to the locker room. Behind the dugouts are coaches offices, a training room, a built-in concession stand, team shop and locker rooms. In 2013, the school added a press box and extended the outfield fences, now draped in ASU’s patented maroon and gold lettering. A new scoreboard was added beyond the left-field wall in 2015. To cap off these amenities, fans can enjoy a backdrop of the clear Arizona sky and palm trees while watching the Sun Devils compete.
Jane Sanders Stadium
Nicknamed “The Jane” in honor of longtime fan Jane Sanders, the Ducks’ stadium was constructed in 2014 on the site of the historic Howe Field. A $10 million gift from Jane’s husband, Robert, the stadium holds 2,500 people, including several suites and “The Bob.” Ground broke that year, and the stadium officially opened on March 24, 2016, with a series against Stanford. With construction and additional expenses factored in, the new home of Oregon totaled $17.2 million. It’s situated between academic buildings and looks out on tennis courts and a field hockey field.
A small, duck-winged canopy, by which the press box sits, cascades over the main grandstands. A team meeting room, locker room, film room, training room and other facilities for the players fill out a building along the third base sideline. An indoor practice facility filled with batting cages, pitching lanes and an infield sit in a building next to left field. To cap off this Pacific Northwest gem, the university added “The Bob” in center field after another donation from Robert that also includes bathrooms and a concession stand.
Sherri Parker Lee Stadium
Following a large donation from alumna Sherri Lee, the University of Tennessee opened a new stadium in February of 2008 to house the Lady Volunteers. The gorgeous complex holds 2,200 fans and features VIP seating, a multi-level press box standing over the stadium seats behind home plate and a massive digital video board in left-center field. Buried beneath the stadium are three locker rooms and a renovated team meeting room for the Volunteers.
To the side of the stadium is a nearly 7,000 square foot clubhouse equipped with a team room, whirlpools, training area and conference room. It also includes a kitchen, 30-seat theater, trophy room and a recreation room with a big-screen television, pool table, video games and comfortable furniture for the players. Connected to the clubhouse are some of the largest batting cages in the country, containing 16-by-60 foot cages for Tennessee. Foliage sits beyond the left-field wall tucked between the field and train tracks.
JoAnne Graf Field
As part of the Seminole Softball Complex, Florida State has played at JoAnne Graf Field since 1999. Since then, the field has hosted 10 NCAA Regionals and five Super Regionals. Though the capacity is listed at just 1,000, JoAnne Graf Field has been home to attendances reaching as many as 2,509 fans in 2017. Its beautiful stadium seating leads up to an enclosed brick press box looking out at the clay cutout around home plate and newly installed grass outfield. A permanent shade awning was also installed in 2020 to cover all reserved seats. Stadium lights were installed in order for the stadium to host night games for the Seminoles. There’s also a grassy area down the third-base line for fans to lay out on. It also has enclosed bullpens for both the home and visiting teams.
The massive complex, centered around JoAnne Graf Field, was added in 2011 with the addition of a batting facility approaching almost 12,000 square feet in size. The two-story building encloses a bullpen, hitting nets and an open area for stretching and other activities.