Representatives from the University of Jamestown and Jamestown Public Schools announced that Darin Erstad has donated to the campaign to renovate the track and football field at the Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium (formerly Taylor Stadium) and to provide a turf practice field at Jamestown High School. In recognition of his donation and support of the Jamestown community, the turf practice field located on the Jamestown High School campus will be named Erstad Field.
The amount of the donation was not released.
The field will support practices and activities for Jamestown Public Schools and UJ as part of the $11.7 million renovation project.
“The Erstad family is honored to be part of this project and give kids an opportunity in all sports to maximize their development,” Erstad said. “The community of Jamestown has given our entire family such wonderful memories, and we look forward to seeing generations of kids create their own memories while pursuing their dreams.”
A Jamestown native, Erstad graduated from Jamestown High School in 1992. While there, he played football, hockey and participated in track and field while also playing American Legion baseball.
“Darin Erstad is one of our most celebrated and accomplished JPS alumni," said Rob Lech, superintendent, Jamestown Public Schools. "Beyond the physical gifts and athletic abilities, he was, and continues to be, a model for the next generation of Blue Jay athletes. Erstad Field will be a great recognition of the impact the Erstad family has on Jamestown High School and also a reminder of what students can accomplish with great effort, commitment, and skill development. We are greatly appreciative of this gift, which will support students in Jamestown for many years to come.”
After graduation, Erstad played baseball for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He made his major league debut in 1996 for the then California Angels and went on to play for the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros. After retiring from professional baseball, Erstad returned to his alma mater, where he served as the Nebraska Cornhuskers head baseball coach from 2012 to 2019.
“We are extremely grateful to Darin and his family for their support of this project,” said Polly Peterson, UJ president. “The Erstads achieved tremendous success athletically and in their post-athletic careers because of their passion and unrelenting commitment to excellence. This gift will benefit our local students for generations and nearly ensures that we will reach our goal of $11.7 million.”
With Erstad’s donation, $11.4 million of the $11.7 million total has been raised so far for the project. Construction, which began in November 2020, is well underway, with press boxes, suites and restrooms currently being built. The community project will also include a new game-day turf football field, a nine-lane 400-meter track, a Blue Jay statue at the stadium entrance, plaza, parking, concourse, lighting, the turf practice field at JHS and more. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021 and will be home to University of Jamestown and Jamestown High School football and track and field.