Sweeney Field Transforms
Gameday Experience at SJU
Expanded seating, press box, sound system and
dramatic bronze Hawks add to home field advantage
Renamed during the fall and officially dedicated on April 5, Sweeney Field transforms the gameday experience of student-athletes, alumni, parents, fans and friends of the SJU soccer and lacrosse programs. The facility recognizes the contributions of Sean S. Sweeney MBA ’94, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and the lead benefactor to the renovation project.
“The expansion of Sweeney Field dramatically improves the overall environment for our teams and their supporters,” stated SJU Director of Athletics Don DiJulia. “We are grateful to the Sweeney Family for their commitment to SJU Athletics.”
“The Jesuits first touched my life when I attended Camp Brebeuf in Vermont as a child. I was inspired by their openness and the way that they challenged you to think ethically,” stated Sweeney, who spent more than three decades with Philadelphia Insurance Companies, rising to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. “I was also impressed with their commitment to athletics; in fact, it was Fr. Brebeuf who coined the term ‘lacrosse’ in the 1600s. I am excited to be able to play a role in supporting the University’s Jesuit mission.”
The home of Hawk Athletic teams since 1929, the field has undergone extensive expansion, which includes the addition of 1,200 permanent seats to the hillside nearest to Barbelin Hall as well as 1,100 portable seats, increasing total seating capacity to 3,200. The permanent seating is accented by a stone façade and highlighted by two dramatic bronze Hawk statues, which are emblematic of the style of play and effort put forth by SJU student-athletes each time they take the field. In addition, the facility now features protective netting behind each goal, a full service press box and an enhanced sound system.
“Sweeney Field gives us a great home field advantage,” remarked SJU Men’s Lacrosse Coach Taylor Wray. “It brings our fans closer to the action than ever before. It also gives us a top-notch venue to potentially host conference tournament games.”
Along with soccer and lacrosse, Sweeney Field has also served as the home venue for Hawk Baseball, Field Hockey, Football and Softball, in addition to usage by the men’s and women’s track teams, along with countless club, intramural and recreational activities.
“The additions to the athletic facility have elevated Hawk pride to an extraordinary level,” added women’s soccer player Carly D’Esposito ’15. “The overall gameday atmosphere is noticeably more energetic and passionate. Everyone seems to have a new sense of excitement looking forward to the future of Hawk Hill. “
Over the years, the field has undergone numerous changes designed to expand usage and functionality. “The improvements to the facility have been extremely beneficial,” added men’s lacrosse player Jack Moran ’14. “The enhancements serve as a testament to the commitment of the University, as well as the generous benefactors, toward our teams and the student-athletes here on campus.”