“Topping out” ceremony held at UK baseball’s new stadium


Members of the University of Kentucky baseball team, coaching and supporting staffs, and season ticket holders signed a beam that was incorporated into the new baseball stadium on campus which is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018. The beam was installed during the “topping-out” ceremony on Thursday, November 2, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky, which is a tradition in the construction of large structures signifying the placement of the largest or highest piece of steel on the structure. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Charlee Schaefer

On Thursday afternoon at the construction site of UK baseball’s new $49 million stadium, that is expected to be competed in fall of 2018, a “topping out” ceremony was held.

The highest beam in the stadium was lifted into place with signatures of the entire team, coaching staff and season-ticket holders. The stadium will add to the athletic village that includes the football, soccer and softball facilities.

The practice of “topping out” is a Scandinavian religious ritual in which a tree is placed at the highest point on a new structure and can be traced to ancient times. This was traditionally done to mollify the tree-dwelling spirits that were expelled during the construction process.

“I just want to remind everybody…This is the Big Blue Nation’s baseball stadium. This isn’t just one team’s. This is everybody’s that has ever worn a Kentucky uniform,” head coach Nick Mingione said.

A lot of progress has been made on the stadium in a short amount of time, and although they are in the off-season, Mingione and his team continue to work to have one last successful season and “go out with a bang” at Cliff Hagan Stadium, which has been the home of Kentucky baseball for 50 years.