Thanks A Lot!
MACON, Ga. – Anyone entering the Mercer University campus through its Main Entrance (off Mercer University Dr.) may notice some construction activity between the Hilton Garden Inn hotel and rightfield of the baseball diamond. That is because a new parking lot area is being built adjacent to the Bears’ athletics facilities.
The project will provide an additional 227 parking spaces and a one-way traffic flow pattern to facilitate game-day movement. The asphalt surface will be enhanced by beautiful landscaping, which in turn, will offer a more picturesque view looking out toward the area from baseball’s Claude Smith Field. Baseball game fans already frequently utilize the spot for tailgating and picnics on game days.
Completion for the project is expected to be by this Homecoming Weekend (Nov. 18-20).
According to Mercer director of athletics Jim Cole, the lot is a response to several factors, not the least of which is the success of Mercer’s athletics teams and hosting the Atlantic Sun Conference basketball championships.
“The growth of our programs – especially in baseball and basketball – necessitated that we do something to address the parking needs, especially on game days,” Cole said. “As our athletics teams move upward – both in terms of numbers and on-field success - and the University plays host to events like the A-Sun basketball championships, we wanted to be proactive in making sure that the ‘fan experience’ is a top priority.”
The parking lot completion will also facilitate Mercer’s playing host to the 2011 A-Sun basketball championship tournament at the University Center (located just a few yards north of the baseball diamond) March 2-5, after drawing outstanding crowds last year for its inaugural effort at hosting the tournament. MU was recently awarded the A-Sun basketball championships for 2012 and 2013, as well. The enhanced parking was a part of the Bears’ winning bid package.