Hunt Family makes Signature Gift for Baseball Development Center
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family has made a signature gift in support of a soon to be constructed Baseball Development Center at the University of Arkansas. The Hunts have pledged $5 million to help build the facility that will serve as the home of the Razorback Baseball program at Baum-Walker Stadium. Construction on the baseball development center is scheduled to begin next month with a targeted completion set for spring of 2021.
In recognition and appreciation of the Hunts generous support, Razorback Athletics has submitted a resolution for consideration to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees requesting the facility be named the J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Baseball Development Center. The resolution will be considered at the Board of Trustees meeting set for November 21-22 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
“We are deeply appreciative of the continuing generosity of the Hunt Family and their support of Razorback Athletics and the University of Arkansas,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “Their lead gift for the baseball development center will help us provide our student-athletes, coaches and staff with a facility that celebrates the history and tradition of our program while most importantly preparing the next generation of Razorbacks for even greater success. I know that Coach Dave Van Horn, his staff and our entire team are excited for this spectacular new addition to our program. We are grateful for the Hunts’ extraordinary investment in the lives of our student-athletes and the future of Razorback Baseball.”
The Baseball Development Center, an approximately 49,000 square foot baseball performance facility will provide student-athletes with an improved and expanded locker room, team meeting room, strength and conditioning center, training room, nutrition center, student-athlete pitching and development lab and an in-venue batting tunnel. The Norm DeBriyn Champions Lobby will feature numerous historical displays and interactive content showcasing the history of Razorback Baseball.
“The Hunt family legacy and commitment to the University of Arkansas is undeniable,” Razorback Foundation Executive Director and General Counsel Scott Varady said. “Their investment in our programs and student-athletes can be seen throughout campus and we are extremely grateful for their support.”
The Baseball Development Center will be constructed in the right field corner of Baum-Walker Stadium, connecting it with the current west concourse and providing new premium viewing areas for games. It will also include a tunnel to connect the facility with the first base dugout. In June, the Board of Trustees approved a final project cost of $27 million for the facility. The Baseball Development Center will be funded entirely by athletic revenues, gifts and bond proceeds from the bond issue. No university funds, state funds or student fees will be required to complete the project.
The addition of a Baseball Development Center will be the latest in a series of renovations and additions to Baum-Walker Stadium which first opened in 1996. In April 2018, Baum-Walker Stadium was ranked as the best collegiate ballpark in the nation by Baseball America.