SNHU’s State-of-the-Art Athletic Facility Opens Fall 2017

Southern New Hampshire University broke ground over the summer on a brand new $25-million multi-sport stadium for the Department of Athletics that will be home to men's and women's soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's tennis, and women's track & field. The facility, which will also host select field hockey home games, should open in Fall of 2017.

“We are beyond thrilled to officially announce what we believe will be an unrivaled facility, not just in the state, but in our region, across all three divisions,” said Director of Athletics Anthony Fallacaro. “This state-of-the-art complex will make Southern New Hampshire even more competitive on the recruiting scene and will solidify our place as one of the top Division II institutions in the region, as we continue to expand our national recognition. All of the credit goes to President Paul LeBlanc, Executive Vice President & University College Provost, Patty Lynott, Dean of Students, Heather Lorenz and our facilities team for their effort in this project as they continue to create new, cutting-edge facilities that will help to provide a first-class academic experience for our students.”

A Wave of Rapid Growth

The new facility is one of many new buildings popping up all over the Manchester, N.H., campus, which has witnessed a wave of rapid growth since 2013. In that time period, SNHU, which also includes 85,000 online students in its enrollment, has opened a 300-bed dorm, an $18 million library learning commons, a student success building and welcome center, in addition to adding a new green space at the heart of campus.

Along with the athletic facility, three new dorms are also currently under construction, while a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art engineering building is set to open in 2019. “The new athletic facility is a stunning addition to the SNHU campus, which is becoming known for bold, intriguing architecture,” said Paul LeBlanc, SNHU President. “For our Athletic program, we are providing a state of the art venue for training and competition, one which particularly supports our expansion of women’s sports and provides an opportunity to reach out to the local community. We are so proud of all of our student-athletes, dedicated coaches, trainers, top-notch operations crew and athletics leadership team and we hope this new facility continues to equip them with the tools they need to be successful on the field and in the classroom.”

The new complex will house a 1,500-seat stadium overlooking a Field Turf surface that will include Musco lighting. The field will be lined for soccer, women’s and men’s lacrosse, and field hockey. A sound system, as well as a state-of-the-art video and scoreboard from Daktronics, will adorn the new stadium. The facility, set on 23 acres, will also include an IAAF certified, eight-lane Beynon Sports Surfaces BSS 1,000 track that will surround the field, and a dedicated throws area next to the stadium. The new complex will also include a new six-court tennis facility. The University is also exploring the potential for a future heated bubble for the winter for the tennis facility.

The concourse level of the facility will accommodate ticket booths, concession stands and restrooms, while the inside of onstruction and Planning continued the facility will feature media and productions suites, a custom, two-level, 5,200-square foot strength and conditioning center, a training room, equipment room, expansive locker rooms, 16 offices for coaching staffs, and a Penmen Club space with sliding doors that open to a balcony with intimate views of the playing surface.

Gaining a Home Turf on Campus

The new facility will have a tremendous impact on current and future student-athletes, including those that currently have no “home turf” on campus. “Being a team without a facility means having to constantly overcome many obstacles,” sophomore women’s track & field athlete Ashley Elder said. “My teammates and I have traveled to many locations, such as an old warehouse, Livingston Park [in Manchester] and even to the University of New Hampshire [45 minutes away in Durham, N.H.] to practice. During the indoor season, we manage to have a majority of the events going on in the same small gymnasium on campus, which can be a bit challenging. We are such a diverse team with many different events and gaining a new facility truly means the world to us. Not only will this facility benefit us, but other teams, as well, which will strengthen our entire athletic community.”

The complex was planned by CannonDesign, an integrated global design firm that unites a dynamic team of strategists, futurists, researchers, architects, engineers, and industry specialists. The project is being built by Consigli Construction Co., a leading construction manager and general contractor headquartered in Milford, MA, with offices in Boston, MA, Portland, ME, Hartford, CN, Washington, D.C., and Pleasant Valley and Albany, NY. The announcement for the new athletic complex came a week after SNHU announced a tuition freeze, part of the University’s commitment to provide a first-class education while keeping costs of a college education within reach for all students.

Over the years, SNHU has become synonymous with transformative student-centered innovation. With an 80-year history of educating traditional-age students and working adults, SNHU continues to rethink higher education by finding new ways to expand access to high quality, affordable pathways to a college degree. Whether it is through online, competency-based or traditional learning, SNHU m ensures all students have access to the type of instruction and high quality student support services that best fits their individual learning needs.

Named the Most Innovative University in the North for the second consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report, SNHU continues to expand the boundaries of higher education to serve students for whom a college degree often seems out of reach. For the latest on Southern New Hampshire University athletics, follow the Penmen via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. Sign up to receive text message alerts and e-mail newsletters about your favorite Penmen teams at

About the Author
Eric Coplin is in his second season as the Director of Athletic Communications at Southern New Hampshire University, as well as his 10th year in the athletic communications profession.