Gary Hogan Field

Posted by KB | | Sunday 16 November 2008 12:15 am

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1. The entryway at Gary Hogan Field

Gary Hogan Field

Built Unknown, Renovated 2004
Opened Unknown, Reopened 2004
Closed Still Open
Torn Down Still Stands
Used by/for University of Arkansas – Little Rock Trojans (NCAA D1) 1978-Present
Location 2501 S Harrison St, Little Rock, AR
Capacity 2,550 (550 seats + Berms)
Surface Grass (Unknown-1997), Artificial Turf (Infield, 1998-Present)
AKA Curran Conway Park (Unknown-2004)

History:

Gary Hogan Field has been home of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans of the Division I Sun Belt Conference since 1978. In addition, the field has been the part time home of the Arkansas Baptist College Buffaloes since 2009.

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2. The unique Gary Hogan Field.

The exact year Gary Hogan Field opened is unknown, though when UALR first began using the field, it was known as Curran Conway Park and was in very poor condition, not at all at collegiate standards. So bad in fact that games were often played elsewhere in the early 1980s. But like many collegiate baseball facilities, the field has evolved greatly since its original usage.

Renovations have been just about continuos at the ballpark since the late 1980s. In 1988, Curran Conway Park’s first locker room was built, and in 1998, a new turf infield was installed along with a new warning track and outfield drainage systems.

Curran Conway Park’s biggest renovations came in the first 5 years of the 21st century. Before the 2001 season, the Kris Wheeler Complex was added, featuring a new concourse complete with concessions, restrooms, coaches and umpire locker rooms, a ticket booth, a press box and a gated entryway. The complex was named after a UALR outfielder who played with the Trojans from 1998-2002. Also installed was a 16-foot tall outfield wall.

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3. The scoreboard at Gary Hogan Field.

In 2003, a new scoreboard in right field was added. Later that year, UALR announced that an anonymous gift of $1.6 million dollars had been donated to help with the renovations. In addition, it was also announced that the field was to be renamed after Gary Hogan, coach of the Trojans from 1986-1996. In that amount of time, he won 276 games, the most in the history of the baseball program at UALR.

Work began on the Gary Hogan Field improvements in November, 2003. The locker rooms built 26 years earlier were turn down and a new outdoor workout facility was built in its place. The artificial turf installed in 1998 was ripped up and replaced with 30,000 square feet of Astroturf 1200, though the outfield remained real grass. Today, the field is one of only 3 fields in the state with artificial turf.

A new indoor workout facility was also built, featuring the same turf as the field. Other improvements included new lighting systems, a new backstop and screen, and expanded berms.

Because of the work on the field, the first half of the 2004 season was not played at Gary Hogan Field. Instead, games were played at the Bryant, AR High School and Vince DeSalvo Stadium in North Little Rock, AR. The first game at the new field came on April 2nd in a game against New Mexico State Aggies, a game UALR won 4-3.

Gary Hogan Field was officially dedicated on April 17th before a game with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  Pre-game ceremonies included Gary Hogan and Kris Wheeler throwing out the first pitches. UALR went on to lose the game by a score of 5 to 6 in front of 1015 people.

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4. The grandstand at Gary Hogan Field.

Renovations continued in 2005 when part of the grandstand was replaced with chairback seats. Today, the ballpark features a covered seating area comprised of metal bleachers seating about 350 and 198 chairbacks. In addition, the berms on either side of the grandstand seat approximately 2,000 more spectators.

Gary Hogan Field is likely the second best collegiate baseball facility in Arkansas, only behind Baum Stadium at the University of Arkansas. And though it is not one of the better college ballparks in the nation, is one of the most unique.

For more and larger photos of this ballpark, see the Gary Hogan Field Gallery.

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