University of New Orleans Celebrates Grand Reopening of Maestri Field
The University of New Orleans celebrates a rich baseball heritage this week with a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate renovations at Maestri Field at Privateer Park.
"We are thrilled to commence the Maestri Field at Privateer Park renovation project after several years of planning," said UNO athletic director Derek Morel. "We are confident our new baseball facility with be an integral part of the advancement of Privateer baseball as a proud member of the Southland Conference."
President Peter J. Fos and Morel will host the groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 10 at Maestri Field in Privateer Park, located on the University's east campus at the corner of Press Drive and Leon C. Simon Boulevard.
Maestri Field is home to a baseball program that reached the 1974 NCAA Division II College World Series and the 1984 NCAA Division I College World Series. The baseball field served as the launching pad for the professional careers of 11 Major League baseball players and is home field for the UNO Privateers baseball team.
The Privateers' home field opened in 1979 and was renamed in 2002 for Ron Maestri, who coached the UNO Privateers baseball team from 1970 to 1984 and served as the University's athletic director for 21 years, from 1979 until he retired in 2000.
Under Maestri's leadership, the UNO Privateers never had a losing season and qualified for nine NCAA regionals. Maestri's prowess as a leader and coach led the Sun Belt Conference to name a Coach of the Year award after him.
Maestri Field was also the home of the New Orleans Zephyrs minor-league baseball team from 1993 to 1996 prior to Zephyr Field opening in 1997.
Stadium upgrades include a new grandstand with chairback seating for nearly 800 and a new press box. The press box includes an area for game-day operations, two radio booths and a private suite with bathroom and wet bar, as well as an elevator to the press box.
The new renovations will be funded by private donations, including gifts from various individual and corporate donors and a bequest from Wick Carey, an avid baseball fan who regularly attended games and kept score from his seat.
The first game to be held at Maestri Field will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15 against LSU and will be coached by former Privateer Paul Maineri. The 2014 home schedule will include 15 Southland Conference home games, as well as two games against Tulane. The Privateers are expected to play approximately 30 games at Maestri Field during the 2013-2014 season.