This state-of-the-art, artificial turf stadium, located just south of the Bob Carpenter Sports/Convocation Center, was dedicated on September 18, 1998. Its construction was made possible, in part, by the generous donation of one UD alumnus: Fred P. Rullo Jr. of Bryn Mawr, Pa., AS '63, a former letterwinner in football and baseball. He and his wife, Madeleine, gave the University $1 million toward the $3.3 million cost of the stadium.
The stadium, home to the women's field hockey team, also houses physical education classes; intramural and recreation program events; high school field hockey and lacrosse championships; and Special Olympics events.
The stadium served as host to the 2000 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) North-South Senior All-Star Game.
Rullo Stadium features an artificial turf surface (Astro Turf-12 surface installed in 2008) covering 122,928 square feet (2.82 acres) permits a full-sized game field for all applicable sports as well as two side-by-side practice areas running across the field.
The field is watered before field hockey play and practice by four sprinklers, which deliver 400 gallons of water a minute, throwing it 200 feet. There is bleacher seating for approximately 2,000 fans, lights, a press box, a multi-sport scoreboard and blacktopped parking behind the bleachers.
Fred P. Rullo Stadium was completed in time for the 1998 field hockey season in September and the Blue Hen field hockey, men's lacrosse, and women's lacrosse teams all used the new stadium for an impressive home field advantage. The Delaware field hockey squad has won nearly 60 percent of its home games since Rullo Stadium opened, putting together a 65-49 record. During that time, the Blue Hens have competed in eighth conference tournaments and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2009.
The Delaware men's lacrosse squad practiced and played its home games at Rullo until 2010 while the UD women called Rullo home until the 2011 campaign. Both now play their home games at Delaware Stadium.
In announcing the gift, then University of Delaware President David P. Roselle said, "It's been said nothing ever built rose to touch the skies unless someone dreamed it should, someone dreamed it could and someone willed that it must."
"That should, could, and must have come together in the form of Fred P. Rullo Jr.," Roselle said, "and we are extremely grateful."
The Board of Trustees, at its semiannual meeting on May 26, 1998, asked to affirm a resolution naming the new facility in recognition of Rullo, a faithful and generous supporter of the University who serves on the board of the UD Athletic Fund.
Rullo and his wife, Madeleine, have three children, two of whom are UD alumni - Patricia a member of the class of '85, and Linda, who graduated in 1987. Linda is a former member of the University of Delaware women's lacrosse team.
Rullo, now retired, had a distinguished career with Atlantic Richfield and the Freedom Chemical Co., serving as chairman, president and CEO of the latter company, which was sold to B.F. Goodrich Co.
Desso DLW of Dendermonde, Belgium installed the original Action Turf nylon surface for the cost of the polypropylene and to donate an installed $40,000 watering system and woven field hockey lines in return for use of the University of Delaware as its "showcase facility" in the United States. Approximately 98 percent of the field hockey fields in Europe are made by this company.
DD Martin of Hunt Valley, Md., which handled the artificial turf project, and the Clark Co. of New York, which did all of the sub-base work, including drainage, conduit, stone base, lights, and bleacher foundations, also were partners in the project.