Artie Limmer/Texas Tech University System
Rip Griffin (center) stands with his family in the infield of Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. View more photos
One week before the start of the 2012 baseball season, the Red Raider baseball team, fans and Texas Tech University officials celebrated the opening of the newly renovated and expanded Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
“This is a great day for Texas Tech and our baseball program,” said Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance. “We have great facilities and that doesn’t happen without great friends and alumni.”
Renovations to the ball park were funded entirely by private donations. A total of $5 million was raised prior to construction, which counted toward the system’s $1 billion fundraising goal for Vision & Tradition: The Campaign for Texas Tech.
An anonymous donor provided $2.5 million for the project and requested that it be named in honor of Rip Griffin, a Lubbock business man, baseball fan and alumnus of Texas Tech University who also contributed to the effort. The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents renamed the expanded facility Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park in keeping with the university’s policies on major gifts.
“[Rip Griffin Park] gives us a tremendous game day experience and environment, much improved from what we had,” said Texas Tech University Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt. “It gives us a tremendous edge for our coaches and the future Red Raiders that we will have coming to play baseball here.”
For fans, the game day experience starts at the curb with a new entry courtyard leading up to the ball park entrance. Fourteen banners depicting iconic moments in Red Raider baseball history will be installed in the next two weeks on the outer walls of the stadium.
Flanked by two entry towers emblazoned with the Double T logo, the new entrance to the stadium includes immediate access to a hydraulic elevator designed to shuttle fans quickly from the turnstile to the upper level of the grandstand without missing a pitch.
Ten larger luxury suites featuring a kitchen area with sink and refrigerator provide a commanding view of the field with vistas of the Texas Tech University campus beyond. The air-conditioned units, which seat 12, are outfitted with a garage-like door facing the field that fans can raise or lower depending on the weather.
The ball park’s upper level also includes a new broadcast booth as well as a stadium club featuring an indoor lounge area, catered concessions and 75 outdoor seats. Topping off the stadium is a red awning made of high-tension fabric, which will shade the 1,187 chair-back seats in the grandstand below.
The view from behind home plate has never been better. A state-of-the-art tension backdrop screen eliminates support poles and provides a virtually unobstructed view of the field from every seat. An additional 184 new seats behind home plate bring fans closer to the game and put the front row a mere 36 feet from the action.
Opening day for the inaugural season at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park will be Feb. 17 when the Red Raiders host Missouri State University.