McKethan Stadium at Perry Field
The University of Florida is home to one of the top college baseball facilities in the nation – Alfred A. McKethan Stadium at Perry Field. The friendly confines of McKethan Stadium have been an important ingredient to the success of Gator baseball for over two decades. Since its opening in 1988, the Orange and Blue has been one of the toughest teams in the nation to defeat at home in posting a 703-231 (.753) record during the span. In his fifth season, Kevin O'Sullivan directed UF to a solid 31-8 (.795) mark, highlighted by sweeps of the NCAA Gainesville Regional and Super Regionals and a 7-2 series record that included weekend triumphs over Cal State Fullerton, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and William & Mary.
O’Sullivan boasts a 155-34 (.820) record at McKethan Stadium and Florida is an eye-popping 36-7 (.837) in three-game series on his watch. The Gators put together a school-record 24-game home winning streak between April 24, 2010-March 8, 2011, and have swept four-consecutive Regionals and three-straight Super Regionals held on their own turf. O’Sullivan’s teams are an unblemished 12-0 in Regional contests in Gainesville.
Over the past decade, over one million fans have enjoyed watching the Gators take the field against elite programs from across the nation each season. In fact, McKethan Stadium at Perry Field was ranked among the top collegiate baseball stadiums in the nation according to Baseball Americain its January 1998 issue.UF's home field was listed No. 7 and was ranked as the best stadium and field in the Sunshine State.
Florida's success on the diamond has led to unparalleled accomplishments for the school at the gates over the past decade, recording the top-10 single-game crowds and the five biggest three-game series totals. During that time frame, UF has drawn 30 crowds in excess of 5,000 fans and established a single-game record with 6,108 fans for the final game of the series against LSU on April 7, 2012. In 2011, the Gators established a school record for total attendance (153,904) and their season average of 3,935 fans last season was the highest in school history.
McKethan Stadium boasts a capacity of 5,500, including 5,100 grandstand seats and 400 bleacher seats extending down the outfield lines in left field. In 1998, when the squad reached the College World Series for the fourth time, the Gators’ success helped Florida attract over 105,262 fans that season, setting then-school records for total attendance and per game average (2,631 fans). UF ranked eighth nationally in attendance, the third-consecutive year it had placed among the top 10.
As a result of its top attendance marks, Florida has been selected to host an NCAA Regional, one of the true tests for a collegiate baseball facility, 11 times. UF played host to Regional action in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and also hosted the 1989 Southeastern Conference Tournament, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 NCAA Super Regionals at the venue. The Gators have certainly benefited from their home crowd, having advanced to the CWS from Gainesville on seven occasions: 1991, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
In addition to the entertaining brand of college baseball, fans enjoy spacious seating close to the field in the beautiful Florida sun. They are treated to theatre-like field-level seating, quality concession areas, an outstanding scoreboard featuring up-to-date player statistics, clean restrooms and abundant parking, along with a first‑class press box for media covering the Gator program.
Always looking to improve its facilities, McKethan Stadium underwent a $350,000 plaza development project in 1996 that produced a new main entrance and created a plaza/courtyard atmosphere for fans surrounding the main grandstand. Construction over the previous summer had added 1,000 seats to the main grandstand to replace seating lost through prior construction and press box expansion.
The press box was rebuilt during the fall of 1996 with the aid of an additional gift of $300,000 from Mr. McKethan. The actual playing field, one of the best in the SEC, underwent an upgrade during the summer of 1997, with the field leveled and new grass planted. Capacity was also increased to 5,000 at that time, with seats added along the left-field line and beyond the left-field fence. During the 2003 off-season, a brand-new Gator skin outfield fence and a padded backstop were attached. The infield and pitching mound were also graded and leveled and more outfield drainage was added. Lights were first installed at the stadium in 1977 thanks to a generous contribution from New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, a Bull Gator booster.
McKethan Stadium is complemented by the $5-million-dollar Lemerand Athletic Center located on Stadium Road cornering up to James G. Pressly Stadium at Percy Beard Track and McKethan Stadium at Perry Field. It is a multi‑story 46,000-square‑foot building that provides locker rooms, equipment storage, training and sports medicine, along with coaches' offices for the Gator softball, track & field and volleyball programs.
A $13-million dollar expansion to McKethan Stadium and the Lemerand Athletic Center that was completed in September of 2006 enhances Florida's complex even more. The construction project resulted in additional stadium seating and a baseball-specific building that includes a training facility, video room, offices and locker rooms, as well as a new bullpen/batting cage building with concessions and an upper deck overlooking the playing field. A high-resolution Daktronics video board was introduced beyond the right-field fence during the 2012 campaign that provides fans with even more statistical information about the game and spotlights other Gator events on campus.
The Don and Irene Dizney Plaza overlooks left field and is a spectacular vantage point for all of the action. Other major donors for the project included Gary and Nancy Condron, Rob Gidel, Tommy Oakley, the late George Sanders and W. Kelly Smith.
McKethan Stadium Attendance Notes
|Dimensions (in feet)|
Florida baseball has…
- Attracted nearly 800,000 fans during the 1990’s and drawn over 1,340,800 fans in the 2000's
- Averaged over 2,000+ fans per game in 14 of the last 17 years
- Averaged over 1,000+ fans per game for 24-consecutive years
- Welcomed over 80,000+ fans per season in 14 of the last 17 years
- Totaled over 50,000+ fans per season for 19-straight seasons
- Registered 30 crowds over 5,000 fans
- Ranked among the nation’s top-15 schools in college baseball attendance in 13 of the last 15 seasons
- Rated among the nation’s top-25 schools in attendance for 17-consecutive seasons
- Hosted 11 NCAA Regionals and five Super Regionals in Gainesville since the introduction of McKethan Stadium
|Year-By-Year Record at Alfred A. McKethan Stadium-Perry Field|
|TOP CROWDS IN McKETHAN STADIUM-PERRY FIELD HISTORY|
|TOP TWO‑GAME SERIES|
|TOP THREE‑GAME SERIES|
|4||14,389||Cal State Fullerton||2/17-2/19/12|
|TOP MID-WEEK ATTENDANCE|
|TOP THREE-GAME OPENING SERIES|
|1||14,389||Cal State Fullerton||2/17-2/19/12|
|TOP OPENING NIGHT CROWDS|
|1||5,356||Cal State Fullerton||2/17/12|
BEST COLLEGE BASEBALL STADIUMS
Source: January 1998 Baseball America
- Arkansas (Baum Stadium)
- Hawaii (Rainbow Stadium)
- Auburn (Plainsman Park)
- Mississippi State (Dudy Noble Field)
- San Diego State (Tony Gwynn Stadium)
- Fresno State (Beiden Field)
- FLORIDA (McKethan Stadium)
- Clemson (Tiger Field)
- Texas A&M (Olsen Field)
- Arizona State (Packard Stadium)
- Ohio State (Bill Davis Stadium)
- Texas (Disch-Falk Field)
- Georgia (Foley Field)
- Tennessee (Lindsey Nelson Stadium)
- Long Beach State (Blair Field)
ALFRED A. McKETHAN (1908-2002)
A native Floridian, Mr. Alfred A. McKethan distinguished himself in his profession and service to the state of Florida. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Sun Bank and Trust Company (formerly Hernando State Bank) from 1942-94, at which time he retired. At the age of 38, McKethan became the youngest president of the Florida Bankers Association. Along with his brother, John W. McKethan, he established the Brooksville Rock Company, which later became known as the Florida Mining and Materials Corporation.
McKethan was also a citrus grower, serving as the Director and Chairman of the Brooksville Citrus Growers Association for 40 years, and as Director of the Florida Citrus Exchange for 15 years. He was a board member and Chairman for the Florida State Road Department and was the first Chairman of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. In addition, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay was due in part from the works of McKethan, as well as the initial planning of the Florida Turnpike.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida as an honors graduate in 1931, and maintained close ties as an alumnus. In 1981, it was McKethan who became the first eminent scholar under a new law that provided matching funds from the state to create chairs at Florida universities if the private sector donated $600,000. He later made his donation to UF's College of Business Administration. Also active on campus, McKethan was a member of the President’s Council, a long-time Bull Gator and had been an instrumental and active member of Gator Boosters.
A Distinguished Director of Gator Boosters, he was a major benefactor to the University of Florida in many ways over the years. An avid baseball fan, McKethan attended games whenever possible each Gator season. The original 1988 stadium construction and refurbishment was made possible through his generous $2.4-million contribution. In 1996, college baseball’s fanciest and most luxurious press box was rebuilt with the aid of an additional gift of $300,000 from McKethan.
“When you talk of Gator spirit and love for the University,” said former Florida football coach Steve Spurrier, “Alfred McKethan embodies what that is all about.”
McKethan passed away in April of 2002 at the age of 93 and the Gator players and coaching staff honored him by wearing black A.A.M. patches on their hats. His initials were also put above the scoreboard at the stadium bearing his name.
ORIGIN OF PERRY FIELD
Perry Field is named for Carl E. "Tootie" Perry, a lineman for the Gator football team in 1916 and from 1919-21. A Gainesville product, his family owned the land where the current baseball stadium and track are located. They donated to the University with the stipulation that the field be named for their son.