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Liberty Announces New Soccer/Track Stadium

June 16, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty announced today plans to build a new stadium for Liberty’s soccer and track and field programs, which will be named Osborne Stadium.

Liberty announced today plans to build a new stadium for Liberty's soccer and track and field programs, which will be named Osborne Stadium.

As a result of gifts recently given to Liberty University Athletics, Director of Athletics Jeff Barber has announced plans to build a new stadium for Liberty's soccer and track and field programs, which will be named Osborne Stadium.

The new home for the men's and women's soccer teams and the track and field programs, located inside of the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex, is slated for completion during the next several months.

The expansion plans call for the creation of new stadium seating on the east side hill at the on-campus facility, totaling 1,000 chairback seats. A fully functioning press box will be located at the top of the seating area.

Adjacent to the stadium and press box, construction plans call for an estimated 5,000-square foot operations center, which will become the new home for Liberty's men's and women's soccer programs and the Flames' track and field teams.

The two-floor building will include each program's coaching staff offices, locker rooms, plus a training room and a team room.

Rounding out the expansive plans for the facility, will be a new scoreboard, which will be used during home soccer and track and field contests, plus brick and wrought-iron fencing surrounding the facility.

The lead gift came from Liberty alumni Richard and Karin Osborne of Oxford, Md. The former Flames football player is an entrepreneur, who graduated from Liberty in 1980.

Additionally, two donations have made this facility upgrade possible. A gift has been given by a donor who prefers to remain anonymous at this time, but will be recognized by Liberty Athletics at a future date.

The Tyson family, relatives of former women's soccer player Brittany Tyson, has also donated and will have the facilities' women's locker room named after them.

Friends and supporters of Liberty's soccer and track and field programs are encouraged to become a part of the stadium renovation project, as recognition and naming rights opportunities will begin at the $1,000 gift level. Prospective donors should contact the Flames Club at (434) 582-2178 or at FlamesClub@Liberty.edu.

The Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex, which also houses the Liberty Soccer Field, has been home to the soccer and track and field programs since 1989.

The venue has hosted the 1999 Big South Women's Soccer Championship, a 2000 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament Play-In contest and six of the 16 Big South Outdoor Track and Field championships, including the inaugural event in 1994.

The Flames and Lady Flames track and field programs have swept the conference team titles all six times they have hosted the event, most recently in 2007.

Quotes Regarding the Announcement of Osborne Stadium

Richard Osborne
I support Liberty University Athletics because it is ultimately a great tool for soul winning, and its impact will be felt for eternity. Liberty Athletics serves to influence student-athletes, parents and spectators through the testimony of its student-athletes on the playing field. Being a graduate of Liberty and a former football player, it humbles me to see the new buildings, the growing number of student-athletes and their athletic achievements over the past few years. I love going to a Liberty Athletics event and seeing the players from both teams gathering together to pray after the game, and then seeing the Liberty team members passing out gospel tracts. Giving is really investing at Liberty. As we return a portion of the blessing which the Lord has bestowed upon us, we know that we will be rewarded with eternal assets. It is a blessing for me and my family to be a part of the vision that Dr. Jerry Falwell spoke about so often of "building Champions for Christ."

Jeff Barber, Director of Athletics
I speak for the entire athletics department in thanking Richard and Karin Osborne, the Tyson family and others for making the dream of a stadium for soccer and track and field a reality. It would not have been possible without their great generosity and commitment to our soccer and track programs. This type of support is invaluable as we continue to build Top 20 Division I athletics programs and these families have set a great example of what is possible with the help of others.

Jeff Alder, Head Men's Soccer Coach
This is a great day for Liberty University and our athletics department. We are so blessed that God has provided people who believe in what we are doing, helping to put hands and feet to our mission at Liberty. As I scan the landscape at Liberty as I start off my 18th year on staff here, you can see God's handiwork at every turn. Jeff Barber and his staff understand the importance of providing our coaches and student-athletes the best opportunity to further the gospel and the mission of the University through competitive athletics programs. I certainly feel this facility will enhance that platform. There is no better place in the country than Liberty for prospective student-athletes to get fed and grow academically, athletically, socially and spiritually.

Jess Celi, Head Women's Soccer Coach
It's a huge blessing to the program and to the school, from a recruiting standpoint and from the standpoint of training Champions for Christ. Everyone involved with this will feel the value of commitment that the University has for them and their lives. As an athletics department, we are so blessed to have the kind of support from parents and friends of the University to be able to do something like this. Without the support of people who believe in what God is doing through Liberty, none of this would be possible. I'm very excited to see what else God has planned.

Brant Tolsma, Head Cross Country/Track and Field Coach
I'm excited to see the upgrades to our facility. We have a great facility, but have been lacking seats for our spectators and an on-site building. We expect that these upgrades will make Liberty a prime location to host major track meets throughout the spring and summer. I'm happy to see such support for the soccer and track and field programs.

Liberty's Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex and Liberty Soccer Field