On October 6, 2007, a new chapter in Marist Athletics began with the dedication of Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field. The stadium's name honors Tim Tenney, CEO of Pepsi-Cola of the Hudson Valley, who provided the lead gift for the stadium renovation project. The Marist football, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's lacrosse and women's lacrosse programs call the stadium home.
Construction of the stadium started in October 2006 and was completed in October of 2007. The College retained the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP to design, plan and oversee the improvement project. This project enhanced and developed two key areas of the facility - the playing surface itself and spectator seating. In order to serve the five varsity programs that would compete at Tenney Stadium, the need for a synthetic playing surface was obvious. With this in mind, Marist officials selected the industry leader in synthetic playing surfaces, FieldTurf.
The renovation project consisted of removing the existing grandstand and press booth along the west side of the field and constructing a new precast grandstand structure along with a modern press booth, media booths and VIP suites along the east side of the field. Additionally, an athletic training room, team and officials' dressing rooms, restrooms, concessions and storage space were incorporated in the area located under the spectator seating. The new seating includes 1,744 chair-backs in the grandstand, with additional seating located on the West Berm, giving Tenney Stadium a capacity of 5,000.
A Daktronics scoreboard is located in the south end of the stadium. Permanent lights, which were initially installed during the summer of 2002, were moved in 2007 as part of the construction. In the summer of 2010, the Marist Athletics Department continued its branding efforts with a graphics enhancement project. This project incorporated both team rooms, the training area, the elevator foyer, and all walkways underneath the stadium. In addition to the new graphics, new red carpet and Pepsi coolers donated by Tim Tenney were added to the team rooms.
History of Leonidoff Field
Leonidoff Field had served as a hub of activity for the Marist Athletics Department. With a ground breaking in 1965 and an official dedication in 1968, the field was named after Dr. Alex Leonidoff, a local physician and avid Marist Athletics supporter. The field was able to accommodate 2,500 spectators. As a pivotal field in the Marist Athletics Department, capital improvements were made to Leonidoff over the years. An irrigation system consisting of 11 separate zones and 36 individual sprinkler heads was installed in 1990 to keep the then-Kentucky bluegrass, fescue and rye natural turf looking its best. The base was comprised of a blend of soils native to the region. The beginning of the 2001 season saw the addition of Musco field lighting to allow night games to occur. The Marist football team has been the one program that has seen the greatest amount of activity on Leonidoff. The program's humble beginnings date to 1965, and the sport held club status until 1977. Yet during the days of club football team records were set that still stand today, including the punting record held by Fox News's Bill O'Reilly '71, who averaged 41.4 yards per punt.
A new milestone was ushered in when the football program moved to NCAA Division III status in 1978. The first game played at Leonidoff Field at the Division III level was on September 24, 1978, which saw the Red Foxes narrowly lose to St. John's, 7-3.
The next leap for the football program came in 1993 when Red Fox football began play at the NCAA Division I-AA level. This new era of competition was ushered in at Leonidoff Field on a winning note as the Red Foxes defeated Pace by a score of 47-19 on September 18, 1993. The Red Foxes enjoyed a perfect 5-0 home season in 1998 and an impressive home record of 40-22 from 1996 through 2000.
For many years football was the only activity on Leonidoff Field until 1981, when the inaugural season of men's soccer was played. That first season saw the Red Foxes post a 12-6-2 mark. In 2004, Leonidoff Field had one of Marist's most successful men's soccer seasons take place on its turf. The team picked up four home victories on its way to the MAAC Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. The Red Foxes repeated as MAAC champions the following season.
Leonidoff Field's résumé of programs continued to grow with the inception of the Marist men's lacrosse team which played its first full Division I season in 1992. The first Marist men's lacrosse match featured on Leonidoff Field was a 18-5 loss to Boston College on March 28, 1992. The 2005 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's Men's Lacrosse Championship Tournament was held on Leonidoff Field. The Red Fox men's lacrosse team would go on to win this championship on their home field by defeating Providence College on their way to the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
With the arrival of the 1995 fall season came the addition of Leonidoff Field's fourth intercollegiate program, women's soccer. The program's first match on Leonidoff was a tough 1-0 loss to Columbia on September 9, 1995. But the Red Foxes would come right back on September 10, 1995, to earn the program's and Leonidoff Field's first women's soccer victory by defeating Maine 2-1.
The most recent program addition to Leonidoff Field was the women's lacrosse team which began play in 1997. This team began their occupancy on Leonidoff Field with a 14-6 loss to Albany on April 2, 1997. In 2004 the Red Fox women's lacrosse achieved a 4-1 home record and in 2005 qualified for the MAAC Championship Tournament.
The summer of 2005 saw Leonidoff Field take center stage as it functioned as the competition site for the 2005 Empire State Games men's lacrosse tournament. Leonidoff Field has played host to numerous Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships over the years:
Women's Soccer: 2002
Men's Lacrosse: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2014, 2015
Women's Lacrosse: 2002, 2003
The first MAAC Championship Tournament held at Tenney Stadium came in November of 2007 with the MAAC Women's Soccer Championships. The final game was broadcast live on ESPNU, the first nationally televised game in the field and stadium's history.
Tenney Stadium hosted a 2015 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament preliminary round game May 6, 2015 when the Red Foxes defeated Bryant 10-6. A record 1,873 fans were in attendance for the first ever NCAA postseason contest held on the Marist College campus.