Belson Soccer Stadium
The home of the men's and women's soccer programs, Belson Stadium, with a seating capacity of 2,168, is a state-of-the-art facility and one of the nation's premier home venues. Made possible by the generous donations of Maxine and Jerome Belson, the stadium has created a significant home field advantage for the St. John's men's and women's soccer programs.
The idea for a stadium was first hatched in Italy following the Red Storm men's team winning the 1996 national championship. The Belsons joined St. John's University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., and the team on the trip and expressed a desire to make a home for the team they had adopted. On Feb. 1, 2001, the idea became a reality when ground was broken with the very same shovel that was used to break ground on the first buildings of the Queens campus in the 1950's.
The stadium, used for the men's and women's soccer programs, was primarily funded by a $6 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Belson. Mr. Belson is a graduate of the School of Law, a member of the University's Board of Trustees and a generous benefactor of St. John's. The stadium is situated on a raised platform, with parking underneath, adjacent to Jack Kaiser Stadium.
"This stadium is another manifestation of the extraordinary generosity of Jerry and Maxine Belson, as we further enhance our Queens campus and our entire university," said Fr. Harrington. "This stadium will greatly benefit our outstanding student-athletes, especially our soccer teams, for years to come."
"This is a great day for St. John's University," head coach Dr. Dave Masur said in 2002. "We owe so much to the Belson Family for their contributions and their love of St. John's, our programs and our student-athletes.
"This facility is the best soccer stadium in the country and our men's and women's soccer programs, along with the University community, will benefit greatly from it. Our fans, alumni, students and the community will relish the wonderful collegiate atmosphere."
On September 21, 2002, with the St. John's men's soccer team ranked No. 1 in the country, the Red Storm began play at Belson Stadium by hosting nationally ranked Wake Forest. St. John's faithful showed up in full force, as 2,242 fans cheered on the Red Storm. After a fireworks show and ribbon cutting ceremony, Andre Schmid scored the first goal at Belson Stadium on the way to a 1-1 tie with the Demon Deacons.
The final stages of the new stadium, which included a press box, private suites and media room, were constructed during the summer of 2004 and opened in time for the 2004 season.