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Officials: $5.7M Allocated for Future LaValle Stadium Expansion

As stadium celebrates its 10th year, Sen. Ken LaValle and athletic director Jim Fiore look towards its future.

Ten years ago, New York State invested $22 million in building Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium, Suffolk County's largest outdoor athletic facility. Officials are looking towards a future expansion to the tune of $5.7 million for the stadium that officials hope will take it to an even higher level.

State Sen. Ken LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, said in a recent interview with Patch that the money will allow the existing 8,300-seat stadium to be expanded to seat 10,000. LaValle – who can often be seen wearing a red Stony Brook hat – said there are additional plans to bring the stadium to a seating capacity of 15,000 in the future. It will not only help in recruiting athletic talent, he said, but it will also bring the community on board even more.

"The stadium is first class. ... The students have gotten into the athletic program. It adds to the quality of student life," LaValle said. "The community is into Stony Brook sports."

According to a spokesman for LaValle, an $8 million allocation for the new basketball arena in 2006, $3 million was re-appropriated for LaValle Stadium in 2007 – which is still built into the 2012-2013 budget. Together with $2.7 million in 2009 specifically budgeted for stadium expansion, the athletic department has yet to determine specifically how the $5.7 million will be used at LaValle Stadium.

"At this time, we are taking a close look at our specific needs and will continue to work internally, as well as with the Senator, to develop a plan for eventually moving forward with expanding the capacity of LaValle Stadium in order to match the growing demands of Stony Brook's athletic programs," said Fiore, who credited LaValle with securing the funding.

While its seating capacity is 8,300, the stadium currently does have standing-room capacity for many more. LaValle Stadium welcomed a crowd of 10,278 – its largest one yet – on Sept. 22 for its Homecoming football game against Colgate, which the Seawolves won in a thrilling comeback style, 32-31. It was only the second time the stadium saw a crowd of more than 10,000 fans; the first time was during the 2010 men's NCAA lacrosse quarterfinals. It is Suffolk County's largest outdoor athletic facility.

Cindy S October 16, 2012 at 11:20 AM
SBU should cosider the surrounding area infastructure-like the residentail roads and impact on ambulance and firehouse when it adds to the university. Local residents are tired of dealing with the aftermath of the "developments". It's great the university expands and is an "economic engine"--but until it thinks before it acts-it's a bad neighbor. We're tred of our tax money going to support SBU and then we're left with the problem it creates.
Scott Moore (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 08:58 PM
As an alum who attends a lot of games in the Red Zone, it's great to see the stadium get some extra seats. We squeeze in as it is down there.
MSCT October 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM
This is the direction Stony Brook Athletics needs to be headed. Our sports programs are starting to outgrow LeValle stadium. Homecoming was filled to max capacity and fans were turned away. It's important to remember that the stadium is used by others outside of Stony Brook, like high school football championship games. The university isn't just for the university, it benefits the surrounding areas as well.
Edwin Casado Baez October 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I think the town has to work more closely with the University. We all know that the relationship hasn't been the best. But SBU needs the town and the town needs the University so its time to start working together. Stony Brook University is continuosly growing against the wishes of the community. The three village area has a lot of potential and they should tap potential benefits that the 25k students bring. Look at Port Jefferson who is beneffiting from the cash flow the students bring in... Its time to act... Also, The infrastructure projects need funding from the state and the county, the University can't do it all on its own...
Adam Highland October 17, 2012 at 01:03 PM
You are absolutely right Cindy. The aftermath of a University that has and will be there since you've owned your house and long after you move on from that house, the aftermath of additional national notoriety the school brings to NY, Long Island, Suffolk County, and the area, the additional capital (on top of the billions the school already generates) that gets infused into the local economy, the additional seating for local people to see their children participate in the suffolk county and long island championships, the priceless campus comradoree that the stadium and sports teams bring to the University (I went there 10 years ago and believe me, it has changed 720 degrees), the surrounding business. The University is a state institution, and if you think they are going to blink an eye about expanding the stadium, to increase attendance, bring their football team to D-1, and continue promoting SBU as a top tier institution, because a couple homeowners, who's property values are only rising due to such a proximity to the campus, and susequent redevlopment of the area, you are kidding yourself. And stop with your tax money...the $50k- $100k in taxes you might pay a year tops goes to federal and state taxes, then the $5k of state tax you pay, goes to the dozens of community colleges and SUNY schools, not to mention a slew of other things so to think that you have an impact because you pay taxes, is borderline ridiculous. Complain 700 cars, once a week...forgetaboutit
LivingSmall October 17, 2012 at 01:56 PM
SBU continues to expand in size -- using eminent domain when needed -- with little regard for the community. For those who are not yet aware, last month SBU and local politicians announced that they wish to create a 'Princeton-like' town in the area north of campus along Route 25A from around The Bench to Eastern Pavilion. Commercial and residential properties are at risk; the plan is to tear down and rebuild. If any become SUNY owned = lost tax base. One individual claims they want affordable off campus housing and shops which would make SBU more attractive to potential applicants. Another states they want high end shops and restaurants. And the affordable housing? A four story off campus apartment building. The project's proponents do not live close enough to campus to be impacted by any changes, yet seem to know what is best for those who do. One is up for re-election this year. Some might breathe a sigh of relief that this is the north end of campus which will be impacting the 25A area and those of us who live there. Be warned -- SBU seized over 200 acres at Gyrodyne, is licking it's chops at the 25A corridor. Long Hill, the H Section, University Heights, everything south of Oxhead, homes circling Nassakeag School west of Pond, Fox Hunt, and the north end of the S section -- you're just as vulnerable. If SBU grows any fatter, it will need more land and you are living on it. How long before the Hamlet of Stony Brook will have been absorbed by SBU?
LivingSmall October 17, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Edwin, kindly expand on this 'cash flow' SBU students bring in to Port Jeff? Many are too young to drink in the bars, can't buy wine in the wine store, can't afford the nicer restaurants. PJ Village has enough problems with upper Port: illegal rentals, the run down, blighted look of vacant buildings, second hand stores, and men standing on the corners. Care to discuss PJ crime? Why would anyone in their right mind welcome THAT? The stores and restaurants on 25A provide services that both local residents and university students (and guests) use. Station Pizza, The Bench in all it's incarnations have been there for going on 4 decades; the local realtors for as long as I can remember. We lost Stony Books for a few reasons -- ecommerce/downloadable books (which the campus bookstore could provide) and the owner's health. He kept it running despite several heart attacks, but business was failing due to the internet/campus/big box bookstore competition. If anything, it would be advantageous to residents and students alike if we had a grocery store walkable to campus(used to be one in SB Village years ago), if the old hardware store hadn't closed (Dominos is in that spot). We don't need more watering holes (like Port Jeff) we don't need cheap trinket stores (PJ) and have enough ice cream, pizza, ethnic foods (PJ again.) The only thing I agree upon is that SBU needs the town -- more specifically the land which comprises the Hamlet of Stony Brook -- to expand SBU.
LivingSmall October 17, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I am happy that the sports program has taken off in the decades since I attended, and feel Lavalle Stadium is something needed on LI, so please don't get me wrong. But as a long time resident, married to a person raised in this area -- at a time when SBU was in its infancy -- we've seen SBU act as a bad neighbor. Ms. Spicer, along with the Lavalle expansion is a proposed 25A project -- SBU overspilling its boundaries -- please explain how more expansion is a good thing to those of us who live in the surrounding area which is negatively impacted by illegal student rentals. Better still, try sleeping on a Friday or Saturday night when the nearby Rugby Party House (aka 150 Christian) is in full party mode. As an SBU student, you must be aware of this party locale or others similar to it in the surrounding area. When you leave SBU (or if you've left) and enter into your chosen career (my best wishes to you for a successful future) will you remain and become a property tax-paying resident of Stony Brook, or will you be moving elsewhere? All I ask is that you take a moment to consider the negative impact the university's growth is having on those of us who own homes here. It's all well and good if the businesses on 25A are making money, but those of us who live just beyond 25A are seeing more illegal rentals and are suffering a diminished quality of life, as well as seeing our property values drop even further in this post bubble housing market.
LivingSmall October 17, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Adam Highland -- Do you live/own here? Are you a local Realtor who can guarantee that a larger stadium (with increased noise, light pollution, traffic congestion, cars parking all over my neighborhood) will increase the value of my home? I would like you to understand what SBU is like to this SBU alumni and Stony Brook resident. SBU has undergone a tremendous growth period, adding more dorms to bring in more students, building new facilities thanks to the donations of very wealthy private individuals. Meanwhile, the budget for classes has caused reductions in the number of sections offered and the number of students taking 5-6 years to graduate is increasing. That equals more students needing housing than SBU can hold. They, in turn, seek out illegal apartments in the neighborhoods surrounding SBU. Some of students are quiet and respectful and others aren't. SBU has stated they have no control over off campus housing. Local newspapers have had articles about the impact the additional burden of a growing SBU has had on the local FD. SBU doesn't pay for that -- the residential taxpayers do. We work around SBU traffic patterns on Nicolls and Stony Brook Rd. A hotel on campus means no tax money going to the local school district (SUNY doesn't pay school taxes.) SBU taking 200 acres from Gyrodyne doesn't translate into good neighbor, either. I believe there would be less distrust and local resistance if SBU would help in abating problems they've created.
Edwin Casado Baez October 19, 2012 at 01:09 PM
@LivingSmall: Please take a look at the following link. A partnership between the town of Port Jefferson and SBU. Collaboration between PJ and SBU will be a win-win situation for the school and the town. this is what I believe should happen between Three Village and Stony Brook University. http://www.northshoreoflongisland.com/Articles-News-i-2012-10-11-94072.112114-sub18235.112114-Seawolves-Country-heads-to-Port-Jefferson-Village.html
Christine Sampson (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Thanks for your comments, everyone. Edwin, you can also check out this link from a few days ago for an additional perspective: http://portjefferson.patch.com/articles/port-jefferson-to-become-seawolves-country

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