CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois soccer officially opens up Demirjian Park with a grand opening ceremony on Thursday night and a marquee opponent to go along with it. No. 2 North Carolina visits Champaign for an 8 p.m. match on Big Ten Network.
The $20 million dollar facility hosted the Illini in the spring, but this will be the dedication of field and press box that was funded in large part UI alumni Richard Demirjian (LAS, ’88) and Kara Demirjian-Huss (ACES, ’92), who provided a lead gift of $7 million to develop Demirjian Park, who will be honored in a pregame ceremony. In addition, to celebrate the 25th season of Illini Soccer, alumni from past years will be honored at halftime of the match.
“In the Spring we were able to use Demirjian Park and I think that’s really different then being able to see we’re going to open Demirjian Park,” Illinois head coach Janet Rayfield said. “And I think this week we actually get to open Demirjian Park, because I piece of Demirjian Park isn’t just what the athletes get to do out here but what our fans get to do.”
“We’re just excited to show everyone what Demirjian Park means to us,” Illinois If you’re going to come to our field and play us we’re going to show you we’re going to do everything we can to protect the field and come out with the win.”
Illinois is 2-0 this season, outscoring its first two opponents 9-1.