The Renovation Begina!
June 7, 2006
LAS VEGAS - Click here for the photo gallery
Rebel fans will notice a big change at UNLV this fall as a $300,000 renovation and upgrade of Peter Johann Memorial Field will give the UNLV soccer teams a brand new field to play on for the 2006 season.
The first step in upgrading the field, first dedicated in 1983, began on Tuesday, June 6, as UNLV men's soccer coach Mario Sanchez, women's soccer coach Kat Mertz, and UNLV soccer supporter Ken Johann watched the extraction of the entire field. A new irrigation system will be installed over the next few weeks, followed by the laying of new sod and grass, with the field expected to be ready to go well before preseason practices start in early August.
Johann has long been a strong supporter of the UNLV soccer programs, including in 1983 when he helped lead the fundraising drive for the field that would be named for his son. More then two decades later, he once again was instrumental in helping UNLV bring in a new field, as a significant portion of the money for the upgrade will come out of his private endowment. The UNLV men's soccer program also enjoys the benefit of a scholarship, also named in the memory of Peter Johann, which has been awarded to a Las Vegas native on the team for the past 32 years.
"This project is long overdue, and I want to sincerely thank Ken Johann for his support," said UNLV athletic director Mike Hamrick. "We have two great soccer coaches, and this should enhance their programs."
"I think it's great to see the work being started on the field," said Mertz. "Its great for our athletes and our fans that the field is being redone for our upcoming season, and we're looking forward to playing on it this coming fall. We also greatly appreciate the efforts of Mike Hamrick, Ken Johann and UNLV in addressing the needed improvement to the soccer field, and we acknowledge the support they are showing towards the soccer programs."
"I think that this new field will push UNLV into the next category of college soccer," said Sanchez. "I think the field will go along with the outstanding facility we have and allow us to better recruit and schedule on a national level."
The first action for either team on the new field will be on August 16 when the Rebel men take on Embry-Riddle in an exhibition contest.