Texas Tech's Dan Law Field has proved each year to be among the nation's top baseball facilities with its top-notch game atmosphere, outstanding fan support and first-rate baseball facilities. The field has also proved to be one of the toughest places for opponents to visit as the Red Raiders have posted eight seasons of winning over 80 percent of their home games.
Dan Law Field has been home to various NCAA Regional and conference post season events as Texas Tech has been selected to host an NCAA baseball regional in three of the last four seasons. All three were enormous successes. In 1999, Texas Tech hosted the four-team NCAA Regional in Lubbock and ranked sixth among the 16 regionals in attendance as the tourney drew a total of 19,869 fans to see Texas Tech, Rice, Rutgers and UW-Milwaukee play. Tech averaged 2,838 fans over the seven-game tournament. The 1997 NCAA Regional drew 4,992 fans to see Tech play Southwest Texas State. Overall, the 10 games in the 1997 NCAA Regional drew 23,407 total fans, an average of 2304.7 fans per game. In 1996, Dan Law Field averaged 2,808.8 fans per game as Tech hosted a six-team NCAA Regional.
Texas Tech also hosted the 1996 Southwest Conference Post-Season tournament. The four-day event, which drew all seven SWC teams for the first time in history, saw 31,542 fans enter Dan Law Field, an average of 2,628.5 per game. Perhaps no collegiate baseball facility in America has seen the renovation that Texas Tech's Dan Law Field has undergone the last eight years. And those renovations are not yet completed. Since head coach Larry Hays took over the program in 1987, not only has the quality of play been upgraded, but so have the facilities.
Not only has the ballpark been given a name- Dan Law Field in 1988 after a local businessman and Texas Tech graduate Dan Law- but the facility has now become one of the most outstanding diamond facilities in all of college baseball.
The first item on the renovation agenda was the construction of a new ultra-modern light system that Law helped fund and lead toward becoming a reality. The current $300,000 lighting system is considered one of the finest among the nation's collegiate ranks. Next was the installation of an Astroturf infield surface. The eight-year old Astro Turf "8" infield was one of Hays' requests made to help put his program together with the extra ability to recruit speed. The 30,000 square feet of turf was installed at a cost of approximately $125,000 which included excavation, sub-basing and carpeting.
When the infield surface changed to Astroturf, the dimensions of the park also changed. Home plate is now 405-feet from straight-away centerfield, while down the lines, it takes a 330-foot blast to leave the yard over a 16-foot high fence.
Prior to the start of the 1992 season, other fan-appealing additions to the park were added to Dan Law Field. A new concession stand was constructed directly under the main grandstand, along with a ticket booth and restroom facilities, which sit just inside the main entrance.
Special care was taken with the renovations to help those with special needs: reserved parking for handicapped fans, new hard-surface walkways and switchback ramps to gradually ascent to the main grandstands were added.
Thanks in part to the cooperation and donations of United Supermarkets, Lubbock Power & Light and Southwest Coca Cola Bottling Co., the athletic department made an addition to Dan Law Field for the 1993 season.
The renovations continued in 1994 as locker room facilities were constructed behind both the home (first base) and visitor (third base) dugouts.
One of the more unique features of Dan Law Field is the Skyboxes. Fourteen luxury boxes, located atop the main grandstand, were completed during the 1996 season. Various companies and boosters pay a rental cost each year for the skyboxes complete with heat and air conditioning units. Tenants have the opportunity to decorate their own area as they wish.
In the Fall of 2001, Texas Tech began yet another phase of renovations as the university continues to show its support of the Red Raider baseball program. Phase One of a major renovation to Dan Law field was completed prior to the start of the 2002 season. Texas Tech spent $1.7 milllion on a new clubhouse, an outfield fence complete with major league-style bullpens, an interior brick facade and a new exterior fence.
Texas Tech officials made another addition to Dan Law Field in the fall of 2003 as Tech installed a new scoreboard complete with a video screen. RaiderVision, Texas Tech's in-house televsion department, now makes its home at three athletic facilities (Jones SBC Stadium, United Spirit Arena and now Dan Law Field). Tech fans will get to experience a "live" video screen that will offer instant replays and various camera angles to help increase the excitement of the game. The entire cost of the project was approximately $600,000.
For years, Dan Law Field has been one of the most exciting places in the nation to watch college baseball and the recent renovations have also made the park one of the nicest.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
(since head coach Larry Hays became head coach in 1987)
Year W-L Pct. 1987 13-14 .481 1988 26-11 .702 1989 25-10 .714 1990 23-12 .657 1991 30-8 .789 1992 24-10 .706 1993 33-2 .943 1994 25-6 .806 1995 29-3 .906 *1996 32-6 .842 *1997 29-7 .805 1998 28-5 .848 *1999 28-5 .848 2000 27-5 .843 2001 25-6 .806 2002 28-5 .848 2003 25-11 .694 2004 26-10 .722 2005 23-9 .718 Totals 484-140 .775
"I love Dan Law Field. It gives us such a tremendous home field advantage. We have great fan support and part of that is because Dan Law Field is fan friendly- the fans are a part of the game and they're tied in with what's going on in the game. That makes it tough to play here for an opponent. Plus with the new turf on the infield, Dan Law Field is a great place to play. We have plans to upgrade it but right now it's one of the best in the country. Chancellor Montford, President Haragan and Athletic Director Gerald Myers along with the community have been extremely supportive to our needs and it shows in our facility."
-Texas Tech coach Larry Hays
"Texas Tech is a tough place to play. They're crowd is very active and they're sitting right by the dugout. It's loud and the visiting team has to make some adjustments."
-Mark Johnson, Texas A&M
"I think there's an air about Dan Law Field. When it comes down to getting something going, you can just feel the electricity in the air. Things start happening for us and things start falling apart for the other team. They can feel it too, because you can see it in their faces. You can see it in their body language."
-Jason Huth, former player
"Texas Tech's fans were so into the game. It's a great atmosphere for college baseball. Anybody there got their money's worth today. It just makes college baseball what it is. I understand why so many people come to watch Texas Tech- they're really fun to watch play. They never quit and the crowd never leaves them. Tech's fans were ragging on me about my diary. They kept asking `What are you going to talk about next- your hotel room?' and saying stuff like that. It was funny. It's great to have fans like that. They're so into it." -Rice All America shortstop Damon Thames who wrote a diary on the 1999
NCAA Regional Tournament in Lubbock
"There's no place in college baseball that compares to games at Dan Law Field just because of everything's that goes on from the game, to the crowd, to the entire atmosphere. Everyone's into it. Dan Law Field is unique because of the layout and the seating location of where the fans are. It puts the fans `on-top of the game' as opposed to just `at the game.' When a rally starts, it's unbelievable- an electric atmosphere. Compared to the other fields I've been at, it's easily the most exciting. It's the only place where the fans are really close to the game."
-Chris Snead, Texas Tech baseball fan
"On a Tuesday night, we'll easily get 1,000 people out there in the stands. It's awesome. It's a college town. When I was talking with Coach Anderson on the phone when Tech was recruiting me he was saying, `On average, we probably get three, four thousand people to every game.' I couldn't believe him. I'm like, `yeah right' and `come on.' In Southern California, the UCLA-USC series is the biggest series out there and they probably get 2,000 people to a game- that's a big weekend for them. Then I came out here and it's totally different."
-Brennan Burns, former player