The 2003 season marked the beginning of a new era in TCU baseball with the opening of the Charlie and Marie Lupton Baseball Stadium at Williams-Reilly Field. The stadium officially opened its gates on February 2nd, 2003 when the Frogs hosted long-time Metroplex rivals The University of Texas-Arlington. A crowd of 3,105 packed the stands for the inaugural game at the Frogs' new home turf. Prior to a contest between TCU and the University of Houston on March 28th, the stadium underwent its official dedication ceremony.
Since the opening of Lupton Stadium, the Purple and White have been very successful as the Frogs have enjoyed 20 or more home triumphs in seven of eight seasons on their home turf, including a school record 28 victories during the 2008 campaign. The Frogs captured their third consecutive Mountain West Conference Tournament Championships on their home field on May 24th with a 15-2 victory over the University of New Mexico. During its history at Lupton Stadium, the Frogs have recorded a record of 187-57 (.766 winning percentage) and have posted winning marks of 24 or more games in three of the last four campaigns, including 26 during the 2010 campaign that ended at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
While winning has become the norm at Lupton Stadium, fans have also enjoyed the friendly atmosphere provided setting all-time records in attendance, student attendance, single-game, series and average attendance all during the 2011 season. A record crowd of 6,099 fans packed the stadium as the Frogs squared-off against Kansas to open the 2011 season, while 5,566 Frog faithful filled Lupton Stadium to open a three-game series against national powerhouse Cal State-Fullerton this spring. This season alone, the Frogs have recorded nine of the top-10 highest attended single-games as well all five of the top-5 series marks.
The $7-million state-of-the-art baseball facility is located on the campus of TCU with the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, Lowdon Track and Field Complex and Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium neighboring the home turf of the Frogs. Ground broke on Lupton Stadium on October 18th, 2001 with construction officially beginning on December 3rd, 2001.
The baseball stadium was named after Charlie and Marie Lupton in recognition of a $2-million gift from the Brown-Lupton Foundation, which was founded in 1944 by business partners T.J. "Tom" Brown and Charles A. Lupton. The business leaders owned the Fort Worth Coca-Cola Bottling franchise and other bottling plants in both Texas as well as California.
Lupton Stadium was not the first project at TCU that the Brown-Lupton Foundation has helped become a reality as the Foundation contributed naming rights to the Brown-Wright Residential Community, Brown-Lupton Student Center as well as the Brown-Lupton Health Center. Additionally, the Foundation has donated to the construction of Tandy Hall, Walsh Center for Performing Arts and Mary Couts Burnett Library along with providing significant support for TCU athletics, research, scholarships and other University needs. In all, the Brown-Lupton Foundation has donated more than $11.5-million to TCU over the last three decades.
The playing surface is named Williams-Reilly Field in honor of former TCU baseball coach Roger Williams and business leader Michael Reilly. Williams - who lettered on the diamond for TCU from 1968-71 - guided the Frogs as their head coach in 1976 before holding a position on the TCU Board of Trustees and serving as the Chairman of the Lupton Stadium Capital Campaign. Owner of the Roger Williams Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep in Weatherford - the former TCU head coach has been a strong supporter of Purple and White athletics throughout the decades in both financial contributions as well as dedication of time. Williams also held the distinguished position of Secretary of State for the State of Texas from 2005 through 2007.
A commercial real estate developer in the Metroplex, Reilly has been a strong philanthropist in the DFW community for many years by supporting a number of area initiatives as well as serving as a minority owner of the Texas Rangers' Baseball Club from 1974 through the 1998 campaign. Williams and Reilly are lifelong friends and were high school teammates at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth. In all, more than 220 donors contributed to the construction of Lupton Stadium and Williams-Reilly Field.
Considered one of the premier baseball facilities in collegiate baseball, Lupton Stadium features 4,500 seats and a unique two-deck structure that allows every seat to be extremely close to the playing surface for a great vantage point of all the exciting on-field action. A canti-leveled roof system covers part of the stadium grandstands protecting fans from the hot Texas sun as well as the unexpected rain. Seats range from lower-deck chairdeck to upper-level club seats as well as general admission bleacher seating. In addition, added patios outside of right field were added prior to the 2008 season as well as sun covers over the bullpen seating areas.
Additional seating areas can be found in the spacious berm area located behind the first-base line. Lupton Stadium the Developed Walk of Champions honoring the former TCU greats in addition to a new videoboard that was installed prior to the beginning of the 2006 campaign.
For the ones who don the Purple and White, Lupton Stadium features a spacious clubhouse with 35 custom-built lockers for the Horned Frogs. Located under the main grandstand, the TCU clubhouse provides direct access to the Frogs' third-base dugout. Adjacent to the TCU clubhouse are offices for coaches with their own private dressing area along with a spacious athletic training room, laundry and equipment facilities and indoor batting cages available for year-round use.
Local, regional and national media will also have the privilege of covering games at Lupton Stadium from one of the finest press facilities in collegiate baseball. The Garry Williams Press Box has ample seating for working media and is named after Williams - who was a long-time supporter of TCU baseball. Home and visitor radio broadcasters will enjoy separate spacious booths to call the games as well.
Around the concourse, fans will be able to take a trip through memory lane as concourse signage depicts some of TCU's most recognizable all-time greats, which was added prior to the 2009 season. In addition, an auxiliary scoreboard was added along the first base line, while the upperdeck seating was expanded in 2010 to its current capacity of 4,500 seats.
Lupton Stadium also maintains the feel of the TCU Diamond - the former home of the Frogs - as the foul poles and flag poles donated by Williams were moved to the new stadium to give long-time Frog faithfuls a touch of the old park. The main entrance to Lupton Stadium even includes some of the bricks that made up the Wrigley Field-style backstop at the old TCU Diamond.
The playing surface features the latest technology in field maintenance, including a Bermuda TIFF 419 surface. The dugouts are heated with Major League Baseball-style bat and helmet racks while a spacious home-and-visitor bullpen areas are located outside the field the field of play.