More than 1,000 Attended Grand Opening Events on Mar. 3
More than 1,000 neighbors, friends, alumni, and community leaders turned out for the Sat., Mar. 3, 2012 grand opening ceremonies for Concordia University’s new Hilken Community Stadium in Portland, Ore.
The event marked the opening of a new shared community space to play in Northeast Portland, with at least fifty percent of field time dedicated for use by community groups.
ESPN’s Neil Everett emceed the ceremony to open the $7.5 million complex, and the program included appearances by project supporters, including Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish; Nike’s Tim Hershey and Kathy Webb; Portland Timbers COO Mike Golub; as well as Concordia student-athletes, alumni and community partners. Chad Doing of radio station 75o The Game broadcast live from the stadium.
“Thank you for making this dream of a community stadium come true,” said Concordia University President Charles Schlimpert to the crowd of more than 1,000 event attendees.
The first 100 guests received a commemorative scarf, and the day’s free, public activities for fans included a baseball doubleheader, a fan photo booth, complimentary concessions, bouncy house and more. Adding to the festive atmosphere, music included performances by: the Concordia Concert Choir; Concordia Brass Ensemble; the De La Salle North Catholic High School Choir singing the National Anthem; drumming by Concordia alumnus Thomas Brown; and a traditional seventh inning stretch Take Me Out to the Ball Game on a calliope.
The honorary first pitch was thrown by former Concordia baseball coach and professor emeritus of history, Dr. Dwaine Brandt, along with university friend and benefactor, Dr. Robert Hilken. Dr. Robert and Mrs. Virginia Hilken contributed $1.5 million in support of the new stadium.
The Concordia baseball team split the doubleheader against Patten University, dropping the first game 4-3 before winning the night cap 10-4. The following day, Concordia wrapped up a series win against Patten with a 1-0 victory.
The Hilken Community Stadium for soccer and baseball spans four city blocks and provides a well-lit, year-round Nike Grind turf infill made from approximately six million recycled shoes. The stadium provides facilities for student-athletes, alumni, local clubs, and youth camps. The stadium is also the new home field for Northeast United Soccer Club and Central Catholic baseball. Both soccer and baseball fields have a press box and stadium seating for more than 1,000 spectators. For more information, visit www.BringTheTeamsHome.com.