Demirjian Park, home of the University of Illinois soccer and men’s and women’s track & field and cross-country programs, was opened to student-athletes, coaches and staff members on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
The Demirjian family, led by UI alumni Richard Demirjian (LAS, '88) and Kara Demirjian-Huss (ACES, '92), provided a lead gift of $7 million to develop Demirjian Park.
Demirjian Park features two new soccer fields, one for competition and one for practice, and a renovation of the existing track and field complex. The project's centerpiece is Demirjian Park Stadium, located between the new soccer fields and the renovated track. The stadium directly benefits more than 25 percent of the Fighting Illini student-athlete population by housing team facilities for women's soccer, men's track and field, and women's track and field. State-of-the-art amenities include locker rooms, video and meeting rooms, lounge and study spaces, sports medicine and nutrition facilities, and coaches' offices. It also contains spaces for visiting teams and officials.
The track surface at Demirjian Park is known as Gary R. Wieneke Track, in honor of Illinois Athletics hall-of-fame track and field coach, Gary Wieneke. The naming was a joint gift among several of Wieneke's former Fighting Illini student-athletes, some of whom competed nearly 50 years ago for him, to show their loyalty and admiration for their head coach.
Education, economic development and service to the community are three of the Demirjian family's primary philanthropic pillars. All three were on display as the ceremonial shovels went into the ground for the beginning of construction of Demirjian Park, a cutting edge facility that could very well transform the future of Fighting Illini soccer and track and field.Read More