GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Latham Baseball Stadium, the longest-serving athletics facility in continuous use on Furman University's campus, is set to undergo one of the most significant transformations in its history with the installation of permanent seating, it was announced today in conjunction with Furman Baseball's annual Upstate Diamond Classic in downtown Greenville.
Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, approximately 880 new chair-back seats will be installed beginning in late March, replacing the existing 250 seats while also expanding the seating area to cover roughly 95 percent of the stadium's permanent concrete structure.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer this upgrade to the fan experience at Latham Stadium," said Furman athletics director Mike Buddie. "With coach Harker and the team gaining momentum on the field, we hope our fan base continues to grow, and they will appreciate the upgrades to the seating area as well as the new videoboard."
"The addition of the new seat backs to Latham Stadium is an absolute game changer for our baseball program," said Brett Harker, who was named the Paladins' head coach in July. "Latham Stadium sports one of the most beautiful settings in college baseball, and this renovation will provide our fan base with a pro-style viewing experience."
American Seating Company of Grand Rapids, Mich., which partnered with the Boston Red Sox to install the first-ever seating in famed Fenway Park, will manufacture the seats, which will be Furman purple.
In conjunction with the seating project, Furman has announced a seat naming campaign that allows fans — with a $500 gift — to commemorate a loved one, family, or business with an engraved plaque on a seat.
The new seating is the latest in a string of recent significant improvements to Latham Stadium, which opened in 1956 prior to the university's move from downtown Greenville to its current location.
In January a 13x38-foot video board, given to Furman Baseball by the Greenville Drive, the Boston Red Sox's Class A South Atlantic League affiliate, was installed along with a new Athalonz bullpen for Paladin pitchers.
In 2013 the university opened Masters Baseball Complex, a $2 million, 10,000-square foot facility located just beyond the stands down the first base/right field line featuring coaches' offices, locker rooms for both coaches and players, player lounge, training and equipment rooms, laundry, and spacious indoor batting and pitching cages.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information