The Rockford University softball team has found a home away from home. Through a partnership with the local park district, the Illinois school is relocating its practices from a cramped campus gymnasium to full indoor fields at the local park district's Mercyhealth's Sportscore Two campus.

Through the partnership announced late last week, Rockford's softball, baseball and soccer games will be placed at Sportscore Two and will be able to practice at its Indoor Sports Center between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sportscore Two already gets used 2.5 million times a year and the Indoor Sports Center is so busy at night that park district executive director Jay Sandine said some soccer games can start after midnight. But the Regents mostly plan to go indoors from 6 to 8 a.m. before school and from 2 to 5 p.m. after school.

“The college will use the fields in non-prime-time hours, which is huge for us,” Sandine told Rockford Register Star“We are just starting to rent the fields, but once we implement all the teams, it could bring upwards of $50,000 a year of much-needed revenue for the Park District.”

Rockford officials feel the arrangement will enhance recruiting at the university. “This will be a huge asset to us,” RU coach Josh Keener said. “Having this indoor space will allow us to have scrimmages and intrasquad games and full infield and game-like situations. We can’t replicate that in a gymnasium.”

Paul Steinbach is Senior Editor of Athletic Business.