SF State plans to replace its baseball field and tennis courts with a new “eco-space,” leaving the baseball team to move to a high school stadium.
The plan, which appears in the Future State 2035 campus master plan, is slated to happen sometime in the next five to 10 years.
Vice President of University Enterprise Jason Porth said Lowell High School is the best option for the team’s relocation because it borders campus. But realistically, the university could partner with any high school throughout the district.
Brandon Davis, SF State associate director of athletics communications, assured Gator baseball fans that the team will still be going strong after the move.
“There is no plan to get rid of the baseball team entirely,” Davis said. “We are still fully committed to sponsoring a baseball program.”
Along with plans to remove Maloney Field, the master plan also calls for the removal of nearby tennis courts, for which there is no team on campus.
Davis said while the baseball field is aging, the tennis courts are rented out through the housing, dining and conference services department.
“Land in SF is rare,” he said. “So that’s a prime piece of land as you come onto campus from that side.”
A large grassy recreation area, a creek and an amphitheater surrounded by freshmen housing will replace the field and courts, according to Jason Porth, University Corporation executive director. Porth said this part of the campus is best suited for a large recreation area because SF State is partially sunken in a valley.
“A lot of water drains there from both sides of the valley,” he said. “And there used to be a stream that ran through. Lake Merced also used to go quite far into that valley before Lake Merced Boulevard was constructed.”
Baseball coach Tony Schifano said his only concern about sharing a field with a high school is figuring out how to schedule both teams’ practices and fall season schedules. The location of the current field also created a scheduling nightmare last year, he said.
That’s because the team was forced to play its first 20 games of the season on the road while the home field was saturated with rain and runoff water. An exceptionally wet rainy season caused pools of water to form, and he said the cluster of eucalyptus trees adjacent to Maloney Field kept them there.
“They block the sun,” Schifano said. “So, the shade doesn’t allow right field to dry as quickly as the rest of the field. Unfortunately, it gets a little muddy and sometimes we have unsafe conditions for a ballgame.”
Davis said the President’s Office and the planning department are well aware of the drainage issues at Maloney Field, and it’s a problem that has left them with few options.
“We could put in astroturf or move the field,” he said.