UIC: UIC to invest in new home for football programs
Flames Field, home of the UIC’s women’s and men’s soccer programs, will undergo a complete stadium renovation following the fall 2021 soccer seasons. The new stadium will open in fall 2022.
The centerpiece of the $ 4.5 million Flames Field soccer complex is a new, state-of-the-art natural grass playing surface, along with new irrigation and drainage systems. UIC will continue to proudly present Chicago’s only university turf field.
“This project is the physical manifestation of our commitment to align the dominant football programs in the Horizon League and to be a lasting power in the Midwest,” said Michael Lipitz, UIC director of athletics. “We thank Chancellor Michael Amiridis and our university community for their continued investment and support in our soccer programs and student-athletes. The future of the Flames is very bright.
The new Flames Field will offer expanded seating for over 1,000 fans. The orientation of the stands will shift to the west side of the complex, offering spectators an unparalleled view of the iconic Chicago skyline to the east.
The project will also provide a new video scoreboard, grass seating areas behind the north and south goals, two new brick entrances, a new press box and a new video platform, as well as other equipment.
“This project is great for UIC football and the entire Chicago football community,” said Sean Phillips, UIC men’s football head coach. “We are proud of our reputation for having a world-class competition surface and our new stadium will significantly improve the experience for current and future Flames and our fans.”
“We are motivated for the future of UIC football,” said David Nikolic, UIC women’s head coach. “The new stadium once again demonstrates the UIC’s commitment to our sport and will provide our fans and student-athletes with a truly unique match day experience.”
Flames Field has been integral to the success of UIC’s football programs over the years. The men’s soccer team has won seven regular season surface championships since 1999 and six more conference tournament titles. The Flames have competed in eight NCAA tournaments over the past 22 years, including four home games (1999, 2000, 2006 and 2008). UIC won these four competitions.
Since becoming UIC’s last sporting offering in 2014, the women’s football program has also grown in importance. The Flames have reached at least the semi-finals of the Horizon League Championship in each of the past two years. In 2019, the last traditional fall season completed, UIC set a program record with 12 wins as they fought through to the conference championship game.
A groundbreaking ceremony will take place later this fall. Stay tuned to UICFlames.com for project updates, construction photos, video features and more throughout the year.
This press release was produced by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.