The renovations to Bill Armstrong Stadium’s north grandstand are expected to be completed July 24. The IU Board of Trustees announced the construction project in December 2018, and a design approval came in April 2019.
Construction began in the fall after the conclusion of the IU men’s and women’s soccer seasons.
Once completed, the two-story structure will include locker rooms, a lobby, a team room, a warmup room and coaches’ offices used by both soccer teams, alongside event support space for the Little 500 all in one location.
Staff offices and team locker rooms for both soccer programs are currently located in Assembly Hall. The locker rooms at Bill Armstrong Stadium were used only on game days.
In the winter, the teams schedule practices in the John Mellencamp Pavilion but suffer from limited accessibility since they also share the space with the football program.
IU women’s soccer head coach Erwin van Bennekom said from an infrastructural standpoint, the logistics were not right for the team to interact on and off the field.
“I think this facility brings us a home,” van Bennekom said. “It brings our women the opportunity to spend time together.”
The stadium improvements will also offer more advantages in recruiting for both programs, but van Bennekom said he doesn’t like to use facilities as a primary tool for recruiting. He said they shouldn’t be the decision maker in an athlete’s desire to play for IU, but it will definitely help.
Stephen Harper, IU's senior associate athletic director for administration and external alliances, accompanied van Bennekom and IU men’s soccer head coach Todd Yeagley on separate tours of the facility last week. They saw the size of each room in person, after previously viewing layouts and digital renderings.
The walls and framing are nearly completed, and the interior will follow in the coming weeks.
“It’s incredible what they’ve done, really,” van Bennekom said. “It’s beyond all my expectations, and I think the design is incredible.”
Bill Armstrong Stadium was built in 1981, and the completion of this project marks the first time it has gone through major renovations. Last year, a new playing surface was installed with an improved drainage system and new Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass before the previous grandstand was demolished.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” Yeagley said. “I think now this facility upgrade, in addition to our new game field which was put in last year, this really puts us back at the top when it comes to facilities in college soccer.”