J.C. Love Field
at Pat Patterson Park
Entering its 46th year of service, modern J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park continues to be one of the top playing facilities in the south since it opened in 1971. Over the years, the stadium has seen the Bulldogs amass an impressive 780-439-1 (.639) home record, making "The Love Shack" one of the toughest venues for opposing teams.
The facility has undergone several renovations in recent years with the newest additions including an all-turf playing surface, which was installed in December 2015 just in time for the 2016 season, as well as a state-of-the-art locker room and players' lounge for the Bulldogs underneath the stadium that was completed prior to the 2014 season. Additional renovations also include the re-painting of the outfield wall, brick walls built down the first and third base lines, a new ticket office, a laundry room and equipment room, as well as a refurbished training room. Mondo flooring, a non-slip and heavy resistant sports flooring made from natural/synthetic vulcanized rubber, has also been installed throughout the facility.
When Greg Goff became just the seventh head coach in LA Tech history on June 6, 2014, he made it a priority to put his stamp on "The Love Shack" early on in the process and continue to make improvements to the historic stadium.
Following Goff's first season in Ruston, J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind college baseball facility complete with an all-turf playing surface, which was installed by Geo-Surfaces, a professional engineering firm based out of Baton Rouge, in December 2015. The baseball turf covers approximately 140,000 square feet of J.C. Love Field and covers every part of the field with the exception of the pitchers' mound which remains dirt. Thanks to the brand new turf installation, LA Tech joins the likes of the top baseball programs in the nation with turf playing surfaces including Indiana, Louisville, Texas and Vanderbilt, while the Bulldogs now call home to the only all-turf field in Conference USA.
"We are so blessed to have the support of our alumni, administration and donors who have made it possible to further our program," Goff said. "It is incredibly exciting for us to have the opportunity to enhance our facility to make it one of the best in Conference USA. We believe this turf project truly makes J.C. Love Field one of the top playing surfaces in college baseball. This generous addition to our facility helps in all facets when you look at recruiting, weather and overall outlook of J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park."
In their first six months on the job prior to the 2015 campaign, Goff and his staff brought new signage into the locker room, removed the grass base paths in favor of dirt down the lines, and completed their grandest project to date, installing a turf halo with the primary LA Tech logo directly behind home plate. A playground area for kids in attendance was completed in time for the 2015 season and is located directly in front of the stadium.
"We put a halo around home plate and really tried to establish that as people walk into the stadium, people recognize something new and where the direction of the program is going," Goff said of the recent work done to the stadium. "There were just a lot of things cosmetically done with the field. We re-did our mound and home plate and just a number of things cosmetically we are trying to do to make the appearance of the field a lot better."
Goff and Co. also made the decision to renovate offices on the visitor's side of the stadium into permanent coaches' offices and work spaces in order to gain easier access to players, rather than remain in the former baseball offices, which were located in the Thomas Assembly Center.
Since the opening of the facility in 1971, the outfield fence has been moved back as much as 20 feet in some places and has been raised. The dimensions of the field are now (left-to-right) 315-370-385-340-325. Other renovations include a new paint job and a new warning track, while windscreens down the left and right field lines were added, as well as a visitors' bullpen.
In 2008, a brand-new scoreboard was installed beyond the right field wall and a smaller scoreboard display behind home plate for spectators watching from beyond the outfield fence. The smaller display faces the outfield and the University Park Apartments that sit beyond the left field fence. Approximately 400 new chairback seats were also added to the existing 300 to give more options to Tech season ticket holders.
A new press box was constructed in time for the Bulldogs to host the 2008 Western Athletic Conference Tournament for the first time in the school's history. It features two radio booths, a television booth, ample seating for media members, high-speed internet connections and multiple phone lines.
On May 22, 2008, the facility was rededicated as J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in honor of LA Tech coaching legend Pat "Gravy" Patterson. In his honor, an outfield wall sign is dedicated to the former coach with his No. 27 jersey with the years he coached and his record in left-center field. His name has also been imprinted on the outside wall of the press box that faces Tech Drive, and it has been added to the top panel on the scoreboard in right field.
Centrally located on the Louisiana Tech campus, the facility features a seating capacity of 2,000, many of which are chairback seats for added comfort. The ballpark also boasts large picnic and viewing areas beyond the outfield wall that are very popular with Tech fans and the infamous "Right Field Rowdies."
J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park features complete team facilities underneath the main stadium structure, while a covered batting tunnel is located down the left field line.
Lights were installed prior to the 1978 season to allow the Bulldogs to play the majority of their games at night, and in 1997, a school-record 3,251 fans packed the stadium and the hills beyond the outfield to watch the Bulldogs play eventual national champion LSU.
The facility, known as Tech Stadium until 1982, was named in honor of J.C. Love, a Ruston businessman who whole-heartedly supported the Bulldog Baseball program and the University.