Texas Wesleyan’s new athletic complex brings wins for campus and the community
On May 3, 2022, Texas Wesleyan University broke ground on the first two phases of a three phase, $16.5 million, athletic complex project. The Karen Cramer Stadium, named after TXWES Board of Trustees member Karen Cramer who pledged $5 million to get the project underway, will be built in three phases, with the first two phases beginning in the fall. The first two phases include an athletic field, an NCAA-certified track and stadium lighting (Phase I), and a field house (Phase II).
"My family has a long legacy at Texas Wesleyan University, so it is an honor to financially contribute to the building of the Karen Cramer Stadium," said Karen Cramer. "There is no doubt the new stadium will positively impact all aspects of the University and Texas Wesleyan community."
In addition to the generous donation made by Ms. Cramer, Moritz Dealerships also pledged $2.5 million for the project.
Karen Cramer Stadium isn’t just another football stadium in Texas — it’s much, much more. The stadium will also be the home to TXWES men’s and women’s soccer, track and cross country and provide a top-tier venue for Fort Worth and surrounding areas to rent. Once completed, it will have a massive impact on the future of TXWES academics, athletics and the community and will continue to position Texas Wesleyan as the Smaller. Smarter. University in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
“The plan was never to have a stadium only used for football — football is only one program among many great athletic programs here at TXWES,” said Ricky Dotson, athletic director. “We wanted the ability for multi-sport use out of the facility. By having a field and NCAA-certified track, we will provide a location in Fort Worth that others want to use to host their events and generate revenue to pour back into our athletic programs and facilities.”
“Having the new field will allow us to have practices on campus, which means our student-athletes won’t be driving off campus to practices anymore — making it safer and more convenient for them,” said Randy Dalzell, head track and field and cross-country coach. “Once the facility is complete, we can host home meets and our student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete in front of their peers, as well as the rest of the campus community — something they have yet to really experience as college athletes.”
Phase III of the project will include the building of stadium seating, press box, concession stands and locker rooms. The entire project is funded through the Engage. Inspire. Invest. Comprehensive Campaign and positively hits all aspects of the Engage 2025 Strategic Plan by enhancing student, alumni and community engagement and spurring further economic development along Rosedale Street. Phase III is still in development and an additional $8 million needs to be secured through the comprehensive campaign before it can begin.
“Building in strategic phases allows our athletic programs to have access to practice facilities sooner, rather than waiting for the entire project to be funded and completed in order to have access to the facilities,” said University President Fredrick G. Slabach. “As soon as all three phases of Karen Cramer Stadium are complete, not only will our student-athletes have on-campus practice facilities, but we can also start using the facility to host outside athletic events and generate a revenue stream to sustain our athletic programs.”
In addition to being used for TXWES athletics, the stadium will also increase opportunities for youth, high school and collegiate football games, soccer games, track meets, practices and even possibly marching band competitions seeking a place to host their events.
“North Texas is one of the largest soccer communities in the country. Available practice space comes at a premium and I know area soccer clubs will be lining up to use our facility,” said Josh Gibbs, head women’s soccer coach. “Hosting college, high school and club sport events at the stadium will not only financially benefit the university, but those events will also bring potential student-athletes and their families to our campus.”
Being able to host a variety of events, “will broaden our exposure and increase our visibility to a large group of people,” said Randy Dalzell, head track and field and cross-country coach. “That alone should increase our enrollment and our ability to recruit in all areas of our academic and athletic offerings.”
“Athletes, coaches, students, staff, alumni and the entire TXWES community will all benefit greatly from this athletic facility,” said Joe Prud’homme, head football coach. “The Karen Cramer Stadium will be a source of pride for everyone involved with Texas Wesleyan!”