NICK DENES FIELD
Since 2002, Western Kentucky University has put nearly $3 million into enhancements at Nick Denes Field.
Among the most noticeable changes include a press box and indoor hitting facility, which opened in 2002, and a brand new clubhouse facility that opened prior to the 2010 season.
Also, in the past couple of years an extension of the seating was completed to give the complex 800 chairback seats that stretch from dugout to dugout. That brings the capacity of the complex to nearly 1,500.
A new outfi eld wall and bullpens have also been constructed, along with "Rally Alley" - a pair of fan decks located just past each dugout. A new entrance to the complex in left fi eld was completed in 2006 and is dedicated to the memory of former Hilltopper Michael Wilhite.
Improvements to Nick Denes Field over the past several years have been key to increased fan support. In fact, attendance at WKU baseball games has quadrupled since the 2005 season, from a total of 5,781 fans coming through the gates that year to 23,713 fans taking in a game at Nick Denes Field in 2009.
Built in 1968 and fi rst used for the 1969 season, Denes Field is named after former Hilltopper baseball and football coach Nick Denes. Denes coached WKU football from 1957 to 1967, compiling a 57-39-7 mark for a .587 winning percentage in 11 seasons.
One of the biggest enhancements yet is a brand new, $1 million clubhouse, which opened prior to the 2010 campaign.
The 4,200 square-foot clubhouse features a head coach's office and two assistant coaches offices, plus a 250 square-foot equipment room. The Hilltopper baseball team has a locker room and a players lounge, and the clubhouse has an on-site training room for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
The clubhouse was made possible in part due to a general gift from former baseball student-athlete Paul Orberson. In appreciation of this gift, WKU has named the facility the Paul Orberson Baseball Clubhouse.