Loyola to play Orange at Memorial Game is Cottle's first step in luring Final Four to city

March 19, 1997|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Imagine watching the lacrosse Final Four in downtown Baltimore.

A Memorial Day weekend not having to drive to College Park or New Jersey. A Memorial Day weekend of the biggest lacrosse games of the year at the new Camden Yards football stadium.

That's the dream of Loyola coach Dave Cottle.

"The Maryland Stadium Authority is pursuing to apply for postseason play in the new football stadium," Cottle said. "The lacrosse community would welcome a Final Four in Baltimore."

It would mark only the second time this city has played host to the lacrosse Final Four and the first since 1975 when the games were played at Johns Hopkins.

Cottle has the plans in motion. For the first step, the game between No. 11 Loyola and No. 3 Syracuse on April 5 has been moved from Curley Field less than two miles to Memorial Stadium.

It will be the first NCAA lacrosse game at Memorial Stadium. In 1995, the Loyola-Syracuse game drew 3,307 at Curley Field on a Tuesday afternoon.

Cottle said he expects to play college doubleheaders at the stadium over the next few years that would include the Greyhounds and three other ranked opponents.

"Being from Baltimore, I welcome the opportunity to play in a stadium where I've watched so many sporting events in the past," Cottle said. "It's a great honor to be playing at Memorial Stadium."

Memorial Stadium and the new downtown Ravens facility also would give Loyola its only chance of playing host to postseason games.

With the installation of predetermined sites for the first and quarterfinal rounds last year, no stadiums with fewer than 5,000 seats can be in the running for NCAA tournament games. Curley Field seats 3,000 fans.

The Final Four will be played this season at Byrd Stadium in College Park and will move to Piscataway, N.J., in 1998. The semifinals and finals are set to come back to Byrd for 1999 and 2000.

"I feel this is the right direction for our program to play in a quality facility," Cottle said. "Curley Field is not a great place to watch a game. And this game was for the most part meant to be played on grass, and Memorial Stadium has an almost perfect field."

Tickets for the Loyola-Syracuse game are $5 and can be purchased at Loyola's College Center ticket booths from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pub Date: 3/19/97

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