CCSU

 

Arute Field

The third and final edition of Arute Field on the CCSU campus was dedicated amid the appropriate pomp and ceremony before about 2,500 fans on Saturday, November 11, 2000 against Stony Brook. A couple of weeks later, the whole world knew about it, or at least everybody interested enough in college football to tune into ABC's coverage of the USC-Notre Dame game that year. Jack Arute III, grandson of the man who built the first Arute Field on land now occupied by the Elihu Burritt Library, is a top sideline reporter for ABC and ESPN, and he was on assignment during the local dedication ceremonies, which was attended by several other members of his family. But the event was taped and aired at halftime during the subsequent nationally televised game.

Though the field occupies much of the area where the second Arute Field was built many years ago, it bears little resemblance to the gridiron it replaced. Permanent lighting and Field Turf, the same state-of-the-art artificial surface used by the top professional and collegiate programs across the country, has made the new Arute Field one of the best football facilities in the Northeast Conference. An impressive new press box was also added during the renovation process. This turf was replaced in July of 2014 with all new Field Turf, including the new CCSU Athletics logo at midfield. While the new facility may look entirely different to some fans, the birth of Arute Field dates back to the 1950s when a local businessman came to the aid of the university, then known as the Teacher's College of Connecticut, and built its first on-campus football field.

Jack Arute, Sr., the owner of what was then one of the state's largest construction businesses, took it upon himself to build the first field to bear his family's name. his grandson is the veteran sportscaster who has been with ABC since 1984 and is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from motor sports to college and pro football. Since ABC acquired ESPN, Arute has been the networks top football sideline reporter. He also moonlights on ESPN Radio. The family's long relationship with the Teacher's College of Connecticut flourished as Arute Brothers', Inc. began to grow and its patriarch became an active member of the New Britain community. He developed lasting friendships with many members of the college administration and, according to his famous grandson, was upset when the state would not approve funding for a new football field. It was then that Arute literally took matters into his own hands. Using his own funds and manpower, Arute and his crew built the first Arute Field. "He just loved this place," Jack III said. "He loved getting to know everyone here and loved being a part of Central; pretty amazing considering none of his children even went to school here."

The original Arute Field was used for almost 20 years, and then moved to its current location in the late 1960s. Despite the change in location and the constant renovations to make Arute Field one of the best in the conference, the name is still the same, a tribute to the man who did so much for Central Connecticut State. Jack Arute Sr. passed away in 1965 and his son, Jack Jr., eventually sold the family business in the 1970s and purchased the Stafford Motor Speedway, which the family still owns and operates.