A gift from longtime South Bend business and civic leader Richard “Dick” Pfeil has created a home for the Indiana University South Bend women’s softball team. IU South Bend received a $105,000 gift from Pfeil to fund improvements to the softball facility at Veterans’ Memorial Park. In recognition of the improvements to the park, the City of South Bend will name the softball venue Pfeil Field. IU South Bend will lease the field from the South Bend Board of Parks and Recreation.
Renovations Underway at Pfeil Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
The five year lease allows the IU South Bend women’s softball team to use the facility at no cost for hosting softball games, tournaments and practices. Pfeil’s gift played a critical role in the arrangement as it allows improvements to be made to the field to meet the requirements of collegiate level women’s softball.
Pfeil Field will remain owned by the City of South Bend and open to the public for uses that don’t conflict with the IU South Bend women’s softball team schedule. The park will also be used by IU South Bend for some intramural sports and activities. The improvements are expected to increase use of the park by the public as well.
“This arrangement, made possible by private support, benefits the city, the parks department, the community, and IU South Bend,” said Chancellor Terry L. Allison. “I want to publicly thank Dick Pfeil for his vision, leadership, and generosity in making this happen.”
Pfeil’s gift to IU South Bend also encourages other donors to contribute so that more improvements can be made to the city park located at Twyckenham Avenue and Northside Boulevard.
“The lightly-used Veterans Memorial Park adjoins the IU South Bend campus, presenting an opportunity for students and the public to join together in much more intensive use of the park,” said Pfeil. “Synergy is an overused word, however, in this case two parts joined together to truly multiply the result.”
“We are thankful for this new partnership with IU South Bend and grateful for Dick Pfeil’s generous support,” said Aaron Perri, executive director, South Bend Parks and Recreation. “This public-private partnership will not only increase the vibrancy of our park, but also enhance existing facilities for the enjoyment of the residents of South Bend.
The women’s softball team at IU South Bend will begin their first season this spring at Pfeil Field. IU South Bend now has eight teams competing in the Chicagoland Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). They are men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, and women’s softball. IU South Bend plans to begin women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and competitive cheer for the 2017-18 season, bringing the total number of athletic teams to twelve.