As the rest of the country continues to invest more and more money into their college baseball programs, the Arizona Wildcats kept pace with a one million dollar anonymous donation just a day after losing the CWS Championship Game to Coastal Carolina.
Coastal is the ultimate example of a school that has invested a ton in its baseball program to make it one of the most successful in the country.
"Like all of our sports, it is critical that we reinvest in our baseball success," athletic director Greg Byrne said in the statement. "This was the second time we have been to the College World Series since we moved to Hi Corbett Field, and we want to continue competing for championships in the coming years. Support from our fans, especially Wildcat Club members, will provide us with the foundation to remain one of the nation’s elite baseball programs."
"This gift is a major difference-maker for our program," head coach Jay Johnson added. "It reaffirms to me how great it is to coach at Arizona where people care so much about our program and especially the student-athletes."
According to the release, the donation will go towards renovations at Hi Corbett, as well as improving fan amenities and student-athlete facilities. Byrne has said before that Arizona has looked into replacing the current chairbacks with something similar to what is seen in the north endzone of Arizona Stadium. The bathrooms also have to be somewhere near the top of the list on what needs to be improved.
Hi Corbett already received a new scoreboard in the middle of the 2016 season, which if you haven’t seen it in person, is massive. Only Oregon State has a bigger scoreboard in the Pac-12.
College baseball will only continue to become more competitive as more and more schools invest significant money into their programs and facilities. Yes, Arizona can claim that they play in one of the biggest, fan-friendly parks in the country, particularly the west. But it will need to continue to put money into the product if it wants to keep up this pace of a CWS appearance every four years.