New football, softball fields shape up at Palomar College

Palomar College's new sports complex to include a 3,600+ seat football stadium, a 207-seat softball stadium, and various improvements to how visitors and fans will experience two of the college’s top athletics programs on campus. Located adjacent to West Mission Road between the main Palomar College entrance and Comet Circle, the project is expected to last one year, with completion tentatively scheduled for October 2023./Palomar College

Palomar College broke ground Tuesday, Oct. 18 on a sports facility that will include new football and softball stadiums, in a ceremony attended by more than 100 people on the main campus.

“This project is going to take our athletics here at the college to the next level,” said Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey, Superintendent/President of Palomar College. “I am excited for our students, our employees, and our community. I can’t wait to see these stadiums in action and share these incredible facilities with all of you and the generations of Palomar College athletes to come.”

Envisioned as a one-year project, the new stadiums are expected to be unveiled in time for the Comets’ 2023 football season, allowing the team to host home games on campus for the first time.

‘The long-awaited project includes a football arena that will seat over 3,600, a vastly improved softball stadium with 207 seats, and a variety of enhancements that will revolutionize how the two sports are experienced at the college.’

— Palomar College publicity

The softball stadium, for its part, will hold four times the number of fans than current accommodations, with a press box four stories above field level.

“In building these stadiums, we are honoring a legacy of excellence by two of our cornerstone programs—football and softball,” said Palomar’s Athletic Director Daniel Lynds. “For both of these programs, this is a day they have long dreamed of.”

Lynds told some of the history of the football and softball programs, emphasizing the multiple decades that the football team—Palomar’s largest athletic program—has had to play its home games at local high school fields.

“For our 140 or so football and softball players who are continuing to improve their skills and live out their dreams, these stadiums will be truly impactful,” said Lynds. “The state-of-the-art training facilities will help them become their best possible athletic selves; the new playing surfaces will help prevent injury and prolong their careers; and the high-tech video equipment in each facility will provide a platform from which they can evaluate their progress and be seen by four-year institutions that increasingly rely on videos in their recruiting.”

The project now under way is Phase 1 of two planned phases of improvements, the second of which will include a state-of-the-art athletics field house and other amenities. The project is being funded by Prop. M, a $694 million bond measure approved by voters in 2006 that has enabled extensive modernizations and improvements across the Palomar Community College District.

“It’s a thrill to see the start of this project,” said Governing Board Vice President Roberto Rodriguez. “This meaningful work does not just happen—it takes a small army of administrators, faculty and staff, who have spent an incredible number of hours determining all of the facets necessary to ensure a project this size meets the needs of the college today and in the future.”

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