MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — When the first pitch is thrown for the 2022 baseball season at the University of Louisiana-Monroe (ULM), the same sights and smells that fans have been accustom to might be a little different.

Warhawk Field has gone through a major renovation, which includes the introduction of FieldTurf to the playing surface, allowing for less cancellations and better drainage for year round play, as opposed to the clay and grass design of the old field.

“For as much rain and cold weather as we get at certain parts of the year, we don’t have to worry about it anymore” said Warhawks skipper Michael Federico.

A large portion of the funding for the project came from a $300,000 grant from the Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as $400,000 from grassroots fundraising. Former ULM Head Baseball Coach Lou St. Amant made a large individual donation to the project as well according to an October article from The News Star.

“You come here, you won’t get rained out, or cut the grass or move dirt so that’s a big thing, the players always do the work.” said St. Amant jokingly.

The field, which was debuted to the public for the first time Tuesday evening will host it’s inaugural game February 18th when the Warhawks welcome in Southern Illinois at 6 p.m.