Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did Simmons decide to pursue this project?

Among the many reasons why this project makes sense for Simmons:

  1. A core mission of the College is to develop strong leadership qualities in our students, preparing them for their future careers and lives. Recent research from the U.S. State Department, the Women’s Sports Foundation, the United Nations, and others has shown that participating in athletics increases young women’s chances of academic, professional, and leadership success.
  2. Another core mission of Simmons is to be an active and engaged community partner with the City of Boston and its surrounding communities. The Daly Field project provides a home facility for the Allston-Brighton Little League and the Brighton High School football team. Further, Simmons College has agreed to develop programs designed to enhance opportunities for girls in the Brighton community to participate in sports, with a particular emphasis on sports that would be otherwise unavailable to inner city girls. Our community engagement is a compelling factor in the reception this project receives among foundations, donors, alumnae/i, and College stakeholders everywhere. 
  3. Bolstering the athletics program heightens overall awareness of Simmons and enhances the prestige of the College. Simmons internal data shows that student-athletes are among the highest performers in the classroom, and achieve some of the highest graduation rates as well. Since 1978 when Simmons began offering athletics, no Simmons team competing in outdoor sports has ever had a home field. This investment literally levels the playing field for our student-athletes.
What will the Daly Field Project do for the Athletics Department?

Simmons athletics teams that play outdoors have never had a home match. The lack of facilities had become a significant hindrance in our efforts to recruit Division III athletes, and would forever short circuit any attempts to become the premier athletics program our athletes merit. The fields at the Winsor School adjacent to the Simmons residential campus are not NCAA regulation size and Winsor's building plans signaled that those fields would no longer be available to us. It was essential for Simmons to find a way to procure a facility close to our campus that would meet our athletics needs while also building key community relationships. The Daly Field project meets those aspirations and needs on every level.

Clearly the Daly Field project will benefit the athletics programs, but what specific benefits will it provide the College as a whole?

In addition to raising awareness of the College and developing key community partnerships, the Daly Field project will impact our College’s standing and awareness among prospective students, lawmakers, potential donors, alumnae/i, and the general public. Having home outdoor athletics facilities will eliminate some current operating costs such as renting fields and transporting teams to and from them. There are other, qualitative benefits of a home field, such as enhanced morale, pride and school spirit, and a sense of community. The partnership with the Allston-Brighton community will provide internship opportunities in several disciplines including nursing and health sciences, physical therapy and education. Further, it is expected that other, non-athletic related Simmons activities will take place at the Daly Field facility, involving the Offices of Student Life, Residence Life, and many others.

What are the terms of the Daly Field commitment?

Simmons College is responsible for the construction and upkeep of Daly Field through legislation and through a lease agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 20 years, with an option to renew for 10 additional years thereafter.

What are the project's specifications?

The Daly Field project modernizes a 7-acre parcel of badly worn grass playing fields that are unplayable for organized recreational activities and have not been maintained or repaired for more than 20 years, and renovates a 2,600 square foot service building that is closed and in derelict condition.

The new Daly Field will include:

  • Multipurpose synthetic turf field containing MIAA standard high school football field (160’ x 360’), NCAA Division III regulation soccer (210’ x 348’), men’s (180’ x 330’) and women’s (195’ x 360’) lacrosse fields, stadium seating for 200 and an elevated press box.
  • NCAA compliant softball diamond with a 215-foot synthetic turf infield and outfield and a clay pitching circle.
  • NCAA Division III synthetic turf field hockey field (180’ x 300’).
  • Six fenced NCAA standard tennis courts sized for singles and doubles play.
  • 3,200 square foot service building containing a sports medicine facility and team meeting rooms.
  • Quarter-mile, two-lane walking track surrounding the softball field and tennis courts.
  • New bicycle and walking path along the Charles River.
  • Stadium lighting.
  • Digital scoreboard.
  • Public restrooms.
  • Public drinking fountain with bottle filler.
Which teams will play at Daly Field, and how far is it from the Simmons campuses?

In addition to the Brighton High School football team and other athletic activities of the school, the Allston-Brighton Little League, and the general public will have regular access to Daly Field facilities. For the first time in its athletic history Simmons College will enjoy the benefits of home fields and courts for five Simmons athletics teams. The Simmons Sharks will use Daly Field for its field hockey, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, and softball teams.

Daly Field is located 4.9 miles from our main academic campus, and 4.4 miles from our residential campus. It is about a 15-minute drive from campus, depending on traffic.

How will the Simmons teams and spectators get to Daly Field? Is there enough parking?

Today, our Simmons teams need transportation to fields all around Greater Boston for their home games. With Daly Field, there will be a regular bus schedule and route for the Simmons community. Athletics teams will be transported by bus to and from practices and games, and the Athletics Department will sponsor a fan bus on game days for fans. 

As part of a comprehensive traffic and parking management plan developed by Simmons College and Brighton High School, in conjunction with our immediate neighbors at the site, major event times and dates will be staggered to alleviate traffic and parking congestion. The plan takes into consideration Brighton High School football games, Simmons athletic competitions, and events scheduled at the neighboring Daly Skating Rink and at the Community Rowing Inc. boathouse. Events will be coordinated and dates and details will be published online.

Additional parking spots in the east parking lot will be created, and the lot adjacent to the ice skating rink will be restriped as a result of the project. Artesani Playground on Soldiers Field Road in Brighton has been designated as the off-site staging area for overflow buses and vehicles.

Are the fields going to be used by just sports teams, or will the general public get to use them, too?

The Simmons athletics department, the Allston-Brighton Little League, and the Brighton High School football team will have dedicated scheduled times and days for their games, practices, and activities. These events and activities will be posted on-site and easily accessed online. When there are no scheduled activities, the Daly Field facilities will be open to the general public seven days a week. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will administer the permitting process for events on Daly Field.

How can I reserve the Daly Field facilities for my group or event?

Visit dalyfield.org to request a permit, review guidelines for use and field usage FAQs, and see the calendar of events. 

How much does the project cost and how will it be paid for?

In May 2016, the Board approved $13 million from the College’s capital budget to complete the Daly Field project. These funds include the costs of: remediating contaminated soil, removing asbestos pipes found in the old field house being demolished, environmental permitting requirements, investments in environmental and safety measures, and refurbishing adjoining parking lots. The funds expended for Daly Field are not related to the College’s operating budget.

What permits/licenses/approvals have been obtained in order for this project to proceed?

The plans for Daly Field have been carefully reviewed by state and local authorities to ensure environmental, conservation, traffic, lighting and safety compliance. Community members, non-government organizations, state and local officials, and other interested parties formed the Allston Brighton Friends of Daly Field, Inc. to provide general oversight of the facilities and to maximize its utility for Brighton High School, the Allston-Brighton Little League, Simmons College, and the general public.

The Daly Field plans have earned the approval of the following state agencies:

  • Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) – Design Approval, Work Permit, Ground Lease
  • Department of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM) – Design Approval, Ground Lease
  • Department of Public Safety – Building Permit
  • Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) – 8M Permit
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) – Chapter 91 License, Notice of Construction, Single Environmental Impact Review; Final Environmental Impact Review
  • Massachusetts Historical Commission – Finding of No Adverse Effect
  • Newton Conservation Commission
  • Boston Conservation Commission
  • Legislation: Chapter 223 of the Acts of 2012, An Act Authorizing the Lease of Daly Field Complex Located in the Brighton Section of the City of Boston
What are the environmental impacts of this project?

Synthetic fields will eliminate existing erosion from the current bare dirt fields and will reduce contaminants from fertilizers and pesticides typically used on natural turf playing fields. In addition, subsurface drainage will increase infiltration to groundwater and will reduce the impact of sediments and erosion on the bank and wetland resource area, as well as the Charles River. The use of synthetic turf also eliminates the need to irrigate, saving approximately one million gallons of water per year that would be required for natural grass fields of these sizes.

As a result of an ongoing federal investigation into the safety of crumb rubber as infill, the Simmons Board of Trustees authorized an expenditure to use all-natural infill at Daly Field. Geofill, which consists of 90% crushed coconut husks and 10% cork, is the most proven organic infill on the market, with more than 500 installations on five continents in every climate. It has been in use for more than 10 years, longer than any alternative infill on the market, and is 100% natural. By choosing to install Geofill rather than crumb rubber, we have assured that Daly Field will be the greenest and cleanest public playing field in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Additional environmentally sound aspects of the project include:

  • The field lighting system is designed to reduce nuisance glare and light trespass.
  • Walking path and general lights on the site are energy efficient LED fixtures.
  • Additional bicycle racks will hold up to 52 bikes.
  • The scoreboard is solar powered.
  • Improvements to adjacent parking lots are designed to reduce runoff into the river.
How is stormwater being managed?

Stormwater will be effectively managed at Daly Field. The existing lawn and natural turf fields are in generally poor condition with many of the areas devoid of turf. As a result, this condition poses a significant potential for erosion and sedimentation runoff to the Charles River. These soils are also often over compacted and allow limited infiltration to groundwater.

The stormwater management system that will be implemented as part of this project will benefit from an in-filled synthetic turf with a stone base. Stormwater collected by the turf will be directed to detention/infiltration areas under the turf to recharge groundwater. These and other measures will minimize impacts to drainage patterns, downstream property, and environmental resource areas, while providing water quality treatment to runoff prior to its release from the site. No new stormwater outfalls or discharges will be constructed.

Is there an increased danger of MRSA or head injuries on artificial turf fields?

There is no evidence to suggest that there is a causal relationship between MRSA and artificial turf. Nevertheless, injuries sustained during play could make a player more susceptible to infection. The recommended way to avoid potential infections while playing any sport is the proper treatment of the wound. It should be cleaned immediately and covered if the player continues in the game to reduce the chances of developing an infection.

It is estimated that a concussion occurs from a head hitting turf every minute of every day. To reduce the risk of these traumas, Simmons is installing a Brock PowerBase pad beneath the turf at Daly Field. Known to reduce concussions by up to 50%, Brock pads are currently in use in NFL stadiums including the New England Patriots’ practice field, NCAA stadiums including Alumni Field at Boston College, and in various professional and amateur fields around the world. By selecting the PowerBase YSR product, we are installing the only safety pad specifically designed for young athletes. Taking into account lower body weights exerting less force on the surface, and unlike natural grass fields, the PowerBase YSR offers a unique combination of energy attenuation to lessen the impact of body-to-surface collisions, while maintaining field stiffness to protect against soft tissue injuries.

Are there benefits to using artificial turf over natural turf?

Yes, there are both practical and environmental benefits to using artificial turf over natural turf. Unlike natural grass, pesticides or fertilizer treatments are not used on synthetic fields. Further, using synthetic turf saves thousands of gallons of water each year that a natural grass field would require. In addition, compared with natural grass, synthetic fields are not as affected by weather conditions and therefore do not have the high risk of damage in the extreme weather we experience in New England. Synthetic fields are less expensive to maintain and are more reliably in playable condition than natural grass fields.

Who is Daly Field's namesake?

Daly Field is named in honor of Monsignor Thomas J. Daly, a priest who spent 46 of his 84 years in the archdiocesan seminaries as a student, teacher, dean and rector in Boston. Affectionately known as “T,” Msgr. Daly was widely regarded as an intellect and a historian. He was well known for being a seasoned administrator and for being an exceptional storyteller. He held a PhD in French Literature from Tufts. Monsignor Daly passed away on April 4, 2011.