July 20, 2009
NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion University Board of Visitors approved today the naming of Old Dominion's football stadium, game day building, and plaza in honor of generous donations made to the Old Dominion football program.
The stadium will be named SB Ballard Stadium at Foreman Field in honor of Stephen and B.J. Ballard and SB Construction, the company responsible for many on-campus construction projects, including Foreman Field. The Ainslie Football Complex, the new game-day building that houses concessions and suites, has been named for Jeffrey W. Ainslie ('83). The Alcaraz-Weinstein Family Plaza, the plaza entrance for the Monarch football team and fans, is in honor of the Gary Alcaraz ('84) and Lee Weinstein families.
"Old Dominion University is incredibly fortunate to have ardent supporters like Stephen Ballard, Jeffrey W. Ainslie, and the Alcaraz and Weinstein families," said Old Dominion University President John Broderick. "Through their generous donations, they have helped our great university sustain its excellent athletic programs and create an exciting, beautiful venue for Monarch Football."
Ballard has been an avid supporter of Old Dominion for several years, having served in a leadership capacity as a member of the university's Educational Foundation board since 1998. A long time Big Blue Club member and men's and women's basketball season ticket holder, Ballard was awarded an honorary alumni certificate in 2004. Founder of SB Ballard Construction Company in 1978, he has become a major force in the industry by providing construction services to an extensive list of clients throughout the mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions of the United States and has been nationally recognized with numerous industry awards for job safety and performance. SB Ballard Construction Company has partnered with Old Dominion in its recent development and growth of the campus, by constructing several major projects, including the Ted Constant Convocation Center, University Village Apartments, Powhatan Sports Complex, ODU Student Recreation Center and a wrestling addition to the Athletics Administration Building.
"Old Dominion University has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade, both physically and in reputation, to become a nationally recognized university," said Ballard. "Several years ago, my wife B.J. and I decided that we wanted to do something for the community and we think that Monarch Football will bring lots of good things to the entire Tidewater region. It's great to have the Ballard name associated with that success."
Jeffrey W. Ainslie, a 1983 Old Dominion University alumnus, has served as a member of the Old Dominion University Alumni Association board since 2002. As president of the Ainslie Group, he established the Jeff Ainslie Endowed Scholarship in Real Estate at ODU in 2005 and served as an adjunct instructor at ODU in contractor licensing. Ainslie is a long time Big Blue Club member and men's and women's basketball season ticket holder.
"I was more than happy to make this gift to the university because I believe it will help contribute to ODU's overall reputation," said Ainslie. "I truly believe that adding a successful football program to the well established winning reputation that each of our other sports has attained over the past decades, coupled with the exemplary academic programs we have created, will create the `buzz' to make ODU the first choice for Virginians and others when selecting their university. ODU has grown to become a true destination university, with many advanced areas of study. The buzz that's created when the community gets involved at all levels will certainly cement that reputation across the commonwealth and, ultimately, across the nation."
Gary Alcaraz is a 1984 Old Dominion graduate, and has served as on the university's Educational Foundation board since 2005. Lee Weinstein joined the Intercollegiate Foundation board in 2008 and has been a Big Blue Club member and season ticket holder for men's and women's basketball since 2006. The Alcaraz and Weinstein families' philanthropy includes substantial personal contributions to numerous community organizations throughout Hampton Roads and around the world, as they share their passion for helping youth.
Foreman Field was named after Norfolk attorney A.H. Foreman, a member of William and Mary's board of visitors and one of the founders of the Norfolk Division of William & Mary, which later became Old Dominion University. Originally intended as the home of the Norfolk Division football program, it found new life as the home to other college and community sports programs when football was originally dropped in 1941. Built in 1936, with state and federal funds provided during the Great Depression, Foreman Field has undergone a $24.8 million dollar renovation over the last year with the help of SB Ballard Construction Company and Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering.
The renovation to the game day home of the football Monarchs includes a new state-of-the-art game day building, field surface, scoreboard, sound system, field enclosure and a contiguous parking garage.
The Ainslie Football Complex features 26 luxury suites and 390 loge seats in 100 mini boxes, in addition to recruiting and hospitality facilities and game day locker rooms for Monarch student-athletes and coaches. Twelve of the suites have their own patio overlooking the plaza south of the complex, while the loge seating area also includes an 8,000 square foot covered patio on the second level of the facility. Another 7,500 square foot enclosed terrace looks directly out over the south end zone. The playing surface at Foreman Field has been replaced by Astroturf GameDay Grass 3D.
The Old Dominion football program will kickoff its first season of NCAA Division I Football Championship play this fall. The Monarchs will play an 11-game schedule, including a seven-game home slate beginning Sept. 5 when they host Chowan at 6 p.m.