A Tale of Two Stadiums: What Implications Could the New Stadium Constructions Have on Gender Division?

3 min read

Blythe Hastings ’23

Sports Editor

The Trinity Stadium Project, announced in 2019, is nearing the end of construction. The project, with an end date set for the fall of 2021, has been a popular topic of conversation for the athletes and sports fans at Trinity College. The new stadium will serve field hockey, football, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and track and field. The project was funded entirely by philanthropy from Trinity’s alumni and families and will act as an attraction for alumni and sports fans alike, as the latest of Trinity’s athletes get back to work after a long standstill perpetrated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the additions to the stadium include new spectator stands on Jessee Miller Field and Sheppard Field, a press box for media and coaches, two private suites for spectators and private events, warming rooms for Trinity, and visiting athletes for use during games and restroom facilities. As summer comes to a close, athletes are using the new stadium and field for preseason, in preparation for the fall season ahead. Football is set to play a full regular season of games against all other NESCAC teams, starting Saturday, Sept. 18. Member of the football team Matthew Almansi ’23 weighed in, relaying that he feels “very grateful for the funding we have received to have this new stadium built for the school and we are so excited to be able to play on it.” The men’s teams are ecstatic to have the new stadium.

Why shouldn’t they be? However, it left women athletes feeling forgotten, as they must walk through the construction zone behind the stadium to get to their practice and playing field. Sheppard Field, the field behind the new stadium, was barely touched, even though construction for the new stadium was taking place just a few feet away. In the published plans, the stadium for the women’s field pales in comparison to the new stadium seating and press boxes on the Jessee Miller side, the side where most of the men’s teams play. And it was executed as such. The stadium built for the women’s side is no more attractive than seating one could find at a high school.

The stadium does not live up to the women athletes’ expectations. Women’s lacrosse player Lily Ives ’23 added that the team as a whole was “under the impression that the stadium would continue onto the backside. It should be two-sided.” The new stadium stands so tall that it blocks the view of the Chapel, the tallest building for miles around the Trinity area, from the women’s field.

This development shocked a majority of the field hockey fans, as Trinity College will host the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Final Four at Sheppard field in November. With such a large national audience, avid fans, alumni, and students will be squeezing into skinny, linoleum bleachers, while the new stadium seating and press boxes face the opposite way.

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