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McKethan Stadium at Perry Field

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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 723-247 (.745) record during the span.

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan boasts a 175-50 (.778) record at McKethan Stadium in his six-year tenure and Florida is an eye-popping 41-11 (.788) 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 31 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 in 2012 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).

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)
Left 326
Left center 365
Center 400
Right center 375
Right 321
Surface: Natural grass

Florida baseball has…

  • Attracted nearly 800,000 fans during the 1990’s and drawn over 1,467,200 fans in the 2000's
  • Averaged over 2,000+ fans per game in 15 of the last 18 years
  • Averaged over 1,000+ fans per game for 25-consecutive years
  • Welcomed over 80,000+ fans per season in 15 of the last 18 years
  • Totaled over 50,000+ fans per season for 20-straight seasons
  • Registered 31 crowds over 5,000 fans
  • Ranked among the nation’s top-15 schools in college baseball attendance in 14 of the last 16 seasons
  • Rated among the nation’s top-25 schools in attendance for 18-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
Year GP/Dates ATT AVG Record PCT
1988 33/27 26,020 964 27-6 .818
1989 43/37 72,600 1,962 32-11 .744
1990 36/28 43,950 1,570 22-14 .611
1991 38/29 58,634 2,002 32-6 .840
1992 41/36 88,312 2,453 30-11 .732
1993 35/31 45,685 1,474 23-12 .657
1994 37/35 58,883 1,682 29-8 .783
1995 33/32 57,151 1,786 26-7 .788
1996 39/38 91,123 2,398 32-7 .821
1997 36/36 88,539 2,459 29-7 .806
1998 40/40 105,262 2,631 35-5 .875
1999 36/36 82,236 2,284 22-14 .611
2000 36/35 63,385 1,811 25-11 .694
2001 36/36 53,312 1,480 26-10 .722
2002 41/41 86,251 2,103 32-9 .780
2003 37/36 67,033 1,862 31-6 .838
2004 36/36 80,686 2,241 27-9 .750
2005 43/43 112,110 2,607 32-11 .744
2006 35/35 123,022 3,514 19-16 .543
2007 34/33 106,956 3,241 17-17 .500
2008 33/31 96,235 3,104 27-6 .818
2009 40/40 119,252 2,981 30-10 .750
2010 36/36 126,195 3,505 33-3 .917
2011 41/41 153,904 3,753 34-7 .829
2012 39/39 153,484 3,935 31-8 .795
2013 36/36 126,421 3,511 20-16 .556
Totals 970/932 2,287,241 2,454 723-247 .745

TOP CROWDS IN McKETHAN STADIUM-PERRY FIELD HISTORY
Rank Att. Opponent Date
1 6,108 LSU 4/7/12
2 6,005 Florida State 3/13/12
3 5,930 Florida State 3/15/11
4 5,793 LSU 4/6/12
5 5,783 Miami (Fla.) 6/12/10
6 5,771 Duke 2/15/13
7 5,719 Florida State 3/18/08
8 5,698 Florida State 6/11/05
9 5,663 Florida State 3/31/04
10 5,657 Florida State 2/27/99

TOP TWO-GAME SERIES
Rank Att. Opponent Dates
1 11,212 Miami (Fla.) 6/11-6/12/10
2 10,948 Florida State 6/10-6/11/05
3 10,860 Florida State 2/27-2/28/99
4 10,422 Florida State 2/19-2/20/00
5 10,409 Florida State 3/1-3/2/97

TOP THREE-GAME SERIES
Rank Att. Opponent Dates
1 16,388 LSU 4/5-4/7/12
2 14,838 South Carolina 3/25/2/27/11
3 13,242 Duke 2/15-2/17/13
3 14,619 Georgia 5/14-5/16/10
4 14,389 Cal State Fullerton 2/17-2/19/12
5 14,003 USF 2/18-2/20/11

TOP MID-WEEK ATTENDANCE
Rank Att. Opponent Date
1 6,005 Florida State 3/13/12
2 5,930 Florida State 3/15/11
3 5,719 Florida State 3/18/08
4 5,663 Florida State 3/31/04
5 5,483 Florida State 5/3/05

TOP THREE-GAME OPENING SERIES
Rank Att. Opponent Dates
1 14,389 Cal State Fullerton 2/17-2/19/12
2 14,003 USF 2/18-2/20/11
3 11,505 Cincinnati 2/10-2/12/06
4 10,980 Louisville 2/20-2/22/09
5 10,454 USF 2/19-2/21/10

TOP OPENING NIGHT CROWDS
Rank Att. Opponent Date
1 5,771 Duke 2/15/13
2 5,356 Cal State Fullerton 2/17/12
3 5,169 Miami (Fla.) 2/6/99
4 5,157 USF 2/18/11
5 4,941 Tampa 2/1/92

 

BEST COLLEGE BASEBALL STADIUMS

Source: January 1998 Baseball America

  1. Arkansas (Baum Stadium)
  2. Hawaii (Rainbow Stadium)
  3. Auburn (Plainsman Park)
  4. Mississippi State (Dudy Noble Field)
  5. San Diego State (Tony Gwynn Stadium)
  6. Fresno State (Beiden Field)
  7. FLORIDA (McKethan Stadium)
  8. Clemson (Tiger Field)
  9. Texas A&M (Olsen Field)
  10. Arizona State (Packard Stadium)
  11. Ohio State (Bill Davis Stadium)
  12. Texas (Disch-Falk Field)
  13. Georgia (Foley Field)
  14. Tennessee (Lindsey Nelson Stadium)
  15. 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.

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