PROVO -- Brigham Young University announced today that its new softball/baseball complex will be named Miller Park in honor of Larry H. and Gail Miller, who made a significant financial contribution toward the facility. The baseball field will be named Larry H. Miller Field, and the softball field will be named Gail Miller Field.
"BYU is pleased to have the Miller name prominently displayed on its campus," said BYU President Merrill J. Bateman. "Larry and Gail Miller have made many sacrifices to further athletics of a high standard in the state of Utah. This is one more example of their unselfishness benefiting thousands of people who love the sports of softball and baseball."
Miller Park will feature back-to-back softball and baseball stadiums covered by a tensile-fabric structure roof, similar to the roof on the Denver airport. A press box will overlook both fields. State of the art locker rooms for players and coaches, coaches' offices, a training room, an equipment room, and a team meeting room will be situated beneath the bleachers. The stadium will also feature lights and new scoreboards.
"My family and I are grateful and excited to be associated with BYU in this endeavor," Larry Miller said. "This only serves to solidify our nearly twenty-year relationship with BYU. Hopefully, this will serve not only as an improved playing facility, but also as a recruiting and development tool for BYU's baseball and softball programs."
Construction on the facility began in January when crews demolished the outfield fence, which is being replaced by a new eight-foot wall located 20 feet further from home plate. The wall will be in place before BYU's home baseball season begins in mid-March. Crews will begin work on the stadium portion of the project and on the softball field immediately after BYU's final home game at the end of May.
"We are deeply indebted to the Millers for their generosity," said Val Hale, BYU's director of men's athletics. "Larry and Gail have been long-time supporters of softball and baseball. Their gift will assure that those sports thrive at BYU for many years to come. This will be one of the finest collegiate baseball/softball facilities in the country."
Elaine Michaelis, BYU's director of women's athletics, added: "We are indeed grateful for the Millers' generosity in making this project possible. Both Larry and Gail have tremendous interest in softball, which is a real asset for our softball program."
"We are very pleased to be associated with the softball and baseball programs at BYU," said Gail Miller. "This complex will serve the school well for many years to come and give many athletes the opportunity to play ball in a first-class facility on the BYU campus."
Larry Miller, one of Utah's premier entrepreneurs, owns the Larry H. Miller Group, which includes many automobile dealerships in several western states. In 1985 he became involved with the Utah Jazz NBA franchise and eventually became sole owner of the team. He also owns the WNBA Utah Starzz and the Delta Center. The Millers have contributed many philanthropic gifts benefiting civic, educational, social, and religious organizations.
Both Larry and Gail have enjoyed playing softball. Larry has been inducted into the Utah Hall of Fame and the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame. He sponsors the successful Miller Toyota Softball team, which competes at a national level. The Millers are the parents of five children and grandparents to 16 grandchildren.