While most Cal Poly sports fans only see athletes in action in Alex G. Spanos Stadium, some would say the majority of “the grind” takes place on Doerr Family Field.
The $4.8 million facility was funded by both the athletics department and Associated Students Inc. (ASI) so that the field could be used equally by student athletes and the rest of the student body.
Athletics programs have access to the field in the morning, and the rest of the student body has access to the field in the afternoon. This has led to a few minor problems so far.
“On game days we do need access to it in the afternoons for the walk-throughs and things like that,” Cal Poly Athletic Director Don Oberhelman said. “Little unforeseen things like that that we didn’t consider when we first did the agreement [with ASI].”
Former Cal Poly football player Richard Doerr led the project’s funding, but ASI put forth $1 million of the University Union Fee toward the new field, according to University Union Advisory Board chair Danielle Diele.
“We invested money in this because we believe that open recreation space for students is extremely important,” Diele said. “Our mission here at ASI is ‘life outside the classroom.’ We want to ensure that students have a space where they can recreate in an open and free unscheduled way.”
Former Cal Poly strength coach Chris Holder, who left Cal Poly for a job elsewhere one month ago, said he would have liked to see more bipartisanship between ASI and the athletics department. Holder said ASI did not want the field to be used for student athletes.
“Why aren’t we all just working together? Why does ASI have the difficulty understanding that the student athlete is a student just like it says in that title? It was very clear that they didn’t want the athletes to have anything in regard to access of that field,” Holder said.
Senior goalkeeper and men’s soccer captain Simon Boehme said he wants students to respect the new facility.
“It is something that athletes use every day to get better and train on,” Boehme said. “So I think if we respect [that] and clean up after ourselves it shouldn’t be an issue.”
Despite conflicts during game days and concerns of athletes, Doerr Family Field use has yet to become a major issue.
“[ASI] has been great to work with and we will certainly be accommodating to them when they have needs,” Oberhelman said. “So I would say, right now, so far so good.”