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BCS Facilities Roundup – Dec 2019

Football

Appalachian State has increased its north end zone budget for Kidd Brewer Stadium by $5M, bringing the project to $50M. The source of the increase? A lack of bids from contractors. The project will be partially completed for the opening of the 2020 football season, with the first and fourth floors scheduled to be completed. The middle floors are projected for completion by October 2020. The facility will include 1,000 club seats, offices for coaches and athletic staff, conference and continuing education space, an orthopedic clinic, dining facilities, team store and hydrotherapy.

Utah has begun selling premium experiences for the Ken Garff Performance Zone at Rice-Eccles Stadium, which is slated to open in 2021. The project is enclosing the south end zone of the stadium, adding unique premium spaces and increasing capacity to 51,444. The $80M project was kicked off with a $17.5 million pledge from the Garff family. In addition to the premium seating, food and beverage opportunities, the project will also provide an upgraded locker room, training room and equipment room, and a new locker room for the visiting team and officials.

Rendering for Utah’s new south end zone (Photo credit: University of Utah)

Tennessee announced plans to renovate Neyland Stadium and update Anderson Training Center, the football complex. Plans had previously been approved in 2017 but were tabled after Phillip Fulmer took the AD helm. The new plans stay within the original $180M budget and are focused on fan experience, such as new entry plazas, improved restrooms and upgraded food and beverage options. The biggest question left unanswered: will Neyland remain at 102,455? Tennessee has always vowed in the past to stay above 100,000.

Wisconsin received approval from the State Building Commission for a $77.6M project to swap the south end zone seating at Camp Randall from bleachers to a combination of seats and three club areas. In its request, UW noted it has a waiting list for club seats that grows by approximately 35 seats annually.

Alabama has received approval from its trustees to renovate and expand the Mal Moore Athletic Facility. The project will renovate the facility, mostly occupied by the football program, and add 6,300 square feet between the existing building and Coleman Coliseum. A one-level addition will add “sports science efforts” and relocated hydrotherapy services. 

The Tide have also begun a $92.5M renovation of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Scheduled to take nine months, the renovation will add student social spaces to the south end, replace corner video boards with larger versions and create a new tunnel through the north end zone that will lead into the locker room as part of a new Walk of Champions experience.Two new clubs will replace west side seating. Ten Founders suites will be added (which sold for $5M each) and four-seat loge boxes (which require a $150K donation in addition to $16K in annual donations). The press box is getting relocated to the east side, new skyboxes are being added and the north end zone seats will include bunker-style clubs.

Dixie State, which is moving up to D1 in 2020 from DII, has finished the first two phases of its stadium renovation with the addition of a new track, turf field, and new visiting team grandstands, which included locker rooms, concessions stands, restrooms and visiting locker rooms. Phase three will renovate the home grandstands with new men’s and women’s home team locker rooms, training room, box office and restrooms. The fourth and final phase of construction will add a high-rise with an entry plaza, corporate level seating and a press box. Eight to ten suites will be added on the level with the press box, plus a banquet room to accommodate about 200 people.

Rendering of Dixie State’s stadium renovation (Photo credit: Dixie State University)

Chattanooga moving forward with plans for a $22M rebuild of its football and athletic training facilities. The plans include the addition of a 39,250-square-foot adjoining building that will house the football program and other facilities. Football will be getting a new locker room, coaches’ offices and meeting rooms. Basketball also benefiting — see below for more.

Basketball

Continuing the details on Chattanooga‘s facility plans, basketball will also be getting new men’s and women’s locker rooms, coaches offices, new working spaces for athletics staff and a number of restrooms.

Wisconsin’s planned $42M in Kohl Center upgrades will focus primarily on athlete services, including expanded facilities for academics, sports medicine, strength and conditioning. Construction is planned to begin in late 2020 or early 2021 and will also include new offices for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and potentially also for the swimming team. Basketball locker rooms will also be expanded and a new nutrition hub will be created, along with a premium club space.

Baylor gets approval to begin the first phase of the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, which includes a 150,000-square-foot fieldhouse with a seating capacity of 7,000 (down from the Ferrell Center’s 10,400). Plans also call for practice and office space for men’s and women’s basketball and a shared sports performance facility. The pricetag for the new arena was reported back in May at $105M. The Ferrell Center will also get a $20M renovation and remain the home of the volleyball and acrobatics and tumbling programs.

Rendering of Baylor’s new Baylor Basketball Pavilion (Photo credit: Baylor University)

Jacksonville announced a new basketball performance center on campus to house the day-to-day operations of the program. Construction will begin spring 2020 with a completion of summer 2021. The 26,000-square-foot facility will include coaches offices, weight room, training room and a full court and a half of playing surface for practice. The facility will be located adjacent to Historic Swisher Gymnasium and have direct access to the home game venue. (As a side note, Jacksonville announced it would drop football just weeks after announcing the new basketball performance center.)

Baseball

Arkansas has secured a $5M gift for a new baseball development center to open in spring 2021. The 49,000-square-foot facility will include an expanded locker room, team meeting room, strength and conditioning center, training room, nutrition center, student-athlete pitching and development lab and an in-venue batting tunnel. The tunnel will connect the facility with the first base dugout, with the facility sitting in the right field corner of the baseball stadium. New premium viewing areas will also be added where the facility connects with the current west concourse. The project is currently slated at $27 million.

Olympic Sports

North Texas landed a $1.5M lead gift for a new on-campus golf practice space. The $3M project goes under construction this month and will include a driving range, short-game area, putting green and an indoor meeting space. It will be the team’s first on-campus outdoor training facility since the former Eagle Point Golf Course was shut down in 2003.

Oral Roberts opened its new John and Cheryl Clerico Golf Complex in November. The facility includes an indoor performance center with four hitting bays, a simulator, putting green with PuttView technology and strength and conditioning facilities. Outside the short-game facility includes a putting green and chipping range that has three greens to target.

The grand opening of the new John and Cheryl Clenco Golf Complex (Photo credit: Oral Roberts University)

Drake will partner with Des Moines Public Schools on a new 4,000-seat, $19.5M athletics stadium to be completed summer of 2021. It will be the on-campus home of Drake’s men’s and women’s soccer teams in addition to hosting Des Moines Public Schools high school football and soccer games.

Liberty will begin construction on a new on-campus indoor practice facility in January. The 75,000-square-foot facility will feature six courts, seating for 100, locker rooms, a team room, laundry facility and concessions area. The $5M project is slated for completion in January 2021.

Louisiana Tech unveiled renderings for new baseball, softball and soccer facilities after its existing facilities were destroyed back in April by a tornado. Construction is set to begin in the new year with a goal of all three sports being in their new homes for next season.

Naming Rights

TD Ameritrade is being acquired by Charles Schwab, which brings into question all of its naming rights across the sports landscape. In college athletics, TD Ameritrade’s most notable is probably TD Ameritrade park in Omaha, home of the College World Series and Creighton baseball. The company also has its name on TD Arena in Charleston, home to College of Charleston’s basketball and volleyball programs. In pro sports, there’s TD Garden (Boston Celtics and Bruins), TD Place Stadium (CFL Ottawa Redblacks and USLC Ottawa Fury FC), TD Bank Ballpark (Atlantic League Somerset Patriots) and TD Ballpark (Toronto Blue Jays spring training and FSL Dunedin Blue Jays).

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About Kristi Dosh

Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more
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