College Athletics Facilities Round-Up: January Part II

Last Updated on February 14, 2024

Welcome to the College Athletics Facilities Round-Up. In this bi-weekly series, BCS brings you the latest updates on the construction of intercollegiate athletics facilities from across the nation. There are a lot of new developments from the second half of January, so let’s dive in.

Volleyball

UNC Wilmington’s Shoreline Sports Complex Opens: A Boost for Seahawks Volleyball

UNC Wilmington’s beach volleyball program will now enjoy an on-campus advantage after the new Shoreline Sports Complex was unveiled. The facility features four illuminated sand volleyball courts. Athletic Director Michael Oblinger emphasized the positive impact it will have on the college athlete experience now that practices and competitions will unfold within the campus environment.

Legal Debate Surrounds Funding for New Southern Miss Volleyball Arena

In a notable contrast of accounts, NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre and Nebraska Chancellor Rodney Bennett presented differing perspectives on funding promises for a new USM volleyball arena. The legal discourse delves into commitments and potential shifts, raising questions about the funding narrative for this ambitious project.

Baseball/Softball

Troy University Baseball Scores Big with Sun Belt’s Largest LED Video Board

Troy Baseball is turning heads with its latest addition: the largest fully LED video board in the Sun Belt. Athletic Director Brent Jones proudly showcased the Trojans’ commitment to cutting-edge technology, setting the stage for an immersive fan experience, and putting Troy baseball on the map for its innovative facilities.

University of Nevada Honors Benefactor Tom Dolan with State-of-the-Art Locker Room

Nevada’s baseball program is set for a summer upgrade with the unveiling of the Tom Dolan Locker Room. This new facility is a testament to the enduring support of longtime benefactor Tom Dolan.

California Baptist University Breaks Ground on Baseball and Softball Clubhouse

The California Baptist baseball and softball programs are making significant strides with the groundbreaking of its new clubhouse. This 11,445-square-foot marvel boasts new locker rooms, a sports medicine space, coaches’ offices, and a conference room. The incorporation of balconies with picturesque views underscores the Lancers’ dedication to providing a unique and enjoyable experience for both players and fans.

Mercer University Unveils Ambitious Facilities Projects

Mercer University is taking a multifaceted approach to its facilities enhancement, unveiling three exciting projects. The Cantrell Family Baseball Performance Center steals the spotlight with its 9,200-square-foot, two-story layout. From batting cages to a pitching lab and a spectator balcony, this center promises to elevate the baseball experience. The comprehensive plan extends to a new home for Mercer’s tennis and golf programs, creating a hub for athletes and fans alike. The end zone addition at Anderson Field will transform gameday with multi-tier tailgate areas, promising a vibrant and social atmosphere.

University of Northern Colorado Launches Campaign for Turf Playing Surface

The University of Northern Colorado is embarking on a $1.5 million campaign for a turf playing surface at Jackson Field. With an initial donation of $150,000, the multi-year effort, led by Bears Head Coach Mike Anderson, aims to tap into contributions from former Bears players and other stakeholders. Should the $1.5 million goal not be reached by the end of 2026, the funds will be directed to the program’s greatest need, as determined by the head coach. This initiative underscores the importance of community support in enhancing athletic facilities.

Basketball

Murray State University Elevates Basketball Program with Renovated Locker Room

Murray State is making headlines with a significant renovation project aimed at transforming the men’s basketball locker room and team spaces. Funded through private support, these upgrades, including new branding, are set to be completed before the 2024-25 season. Racers Athletic Director Nico Yantko emphasized the commitment to enhancing the college athlete experience, marking a crucial milestone for the basketball program.

University of Maryland Unveils Massive Daktronics Video Board at XFINITY Center

In a bold move, Maryland Athletics has unveiled a four-sided, center-hung Daktronics video board at the XFINITY Center. Standing at an impressive 20 feet tall and 92 feet around, this state-of-the-art addition is a testament to Maryland’s commitment to being a leader in technology and innovation. Athletic Director Damon Evans envisions it as a national showpiece, reinforcing the university’s position at the forefront of cutting-edge athletic facilities.

Michigan State Invests Heavily in Breslin Center’s Multimedia Experience

The Michigan State Spartans have upped their multimedia game with a $3 million investment in a center-hung videoboard by SNA Displays, accompanied by 725 linear feet of ribbon board. As Sports Business Journal’s Brett McCormick notes, an additional $1 million has been allocated to install a new sound system. These upgrades promise to elevate the fan experience at the Breslin Center to new heights.

Rice University Tackles Court Replacement After Rain-Related Damage

Rice University is addressing facility challenges head-on by replacing a section of the playing court in Tudor Fieldhouse. A 20’ x 30’ area suffered damage after rain infiltrated the building, leading to court buckling. This proactive approach underscores the importance of maintaining top-notch facilities and the resilience required to overcome unexpected setbacks.

Western Michigan University Unveils Vision for Athletics Performance Center

Western Michigan athletics are setting the stage for the future with renderings of the Athletics Performance Center and Kalamazoo Events Center. Athletic Director Dan Bartholomae emphasized that this innovative space goes beyond competition, playing a crucial role in the facility master plan. The project not only provides cutting-edge training and recovery technology but also frees up existing facilities for enhanced programming across various varsity programs.

Mount St. Mary’s Embarks on Knott Arena Concourse Renovation

Mount St. Mary’s is gearing up for a transformative project, planning to renovate the concourse inside Knott Arena. The overhaul includes new graphics, lighting, flooring, and painting, creating a refreshed and visually appealing space. This endeavor, dedicated to former athletic director Lynne Phelan Robinson, highlights the university’s commitment to honoring its athletic legacy.

University of Southern Indiana Recognizes Donors with Ronald ’73 and Connie ’74 Romain Atrium

In a gesture of gratitude, the University of Southern Indiana has rechristened the Screaming Eagles Arena atrium as the Ronald ’73 and Connie ’74 Romain Atrium. This renaming honors the generous $1 million gift from alumni Ronald and Connie Romain, showcasing the pivotal role of donors in advancing the university’s athletic facilities.

Football

Vanderbilt Elevates Fan Experience with Premium Seating Options

Vanderbilt University is ushering in a new era of fan experience with the unveiling of premium seating options at FirstBank Stadium. The Field Club, Commodore Club, loge seating, living room boxes, suites, and Commodore Suites are set to redefine how fans enjoy the game. Current season ticket holders can already explore package options, while all other fans can anticipate the sale of season tickets, including premium seating opportunities, starting in February. Additionally, Vanderbilt is stepping into the realm of NIL strategy with a strategic partnership with Alluvium Strategies, showcasing a holistic approach to navigating the ever-changing landscape of college athletics.

Camping World Stadium Set for Major Transformation

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners has given the green light with a 6-1 vote, approving $400 million in funding for renovations to Camping World Stadium. This includes the construction of a versatile 100,000-square-foot multipurpose venue capable of hosting a myriad of events. The city of Orlando and Florida Citrus Sports are gearing up to issue RFPs within the next three months to assemble a top-notch design and construction team. With aspirations to commence work in 2025, the goal is to keep the venue operational, concluding renovations by the 2027 college football season. This ambitious project aligns with Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan’s vision of a campus approach, drawing inspiration from modern NFL facilities like Hard Rock Stadium.

University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium Hedges Revitalization Underway

In a nod to tradition, the University of Georgia is set to revitalize the hedges inside Sanford Stadium. The project, beginning next month and targeted for completion by the 2024 G-Day Game, involves a comprehensive approach. This includes a full soil replacement, irrigation and drainage enhancements, and the replanting of the hedges for sustained growth into the future. This commitment to maintaining iconic elements showcases Georgia’s dedication to preserving the essence of its historic athletic facilities.

Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium Renovation Takes a Strategic Pause

Wichita State University faces a strategic juncture in the renovation of Cessna Stadium as the lone bid on phases 1A and 1B has been rejected. Athletic Director Kevin Saal highlighted the university’s commitment to a more competitively bid project, signaling a brief pause in the renovation process. Despite this, WSU officials remain dedicated to hosting the 2024 State High School Track meet in Wichita, working closely with KSHSAA to ensure a first-class event.

TCU Embarks on a Transformational Journey with the Human Performance Center

At the end of this month, Texas Christian University will set the wheels in motion for the Human Performance Center Renovation and Expansion project. With a monumental $10 million lead gift from the Jane & John Justin Foundation, this initiative is a holistic endeavor. The project includes the renovation of the Bob Lilly Performance Center, the construction of a new Football Performance Center, and the establishment of a Restoration and Wellness Center for all TCU college athletes. TCU is positioning itself at the forefront of comprehensive athlete development through state-of-the-art facilities.

Field Hockey

Field Hockey Scores Big with a Million-Dollar Gift to Villanova University

Villanova Athletics is reveling in the generosity of an anonymous donor who has endowed the field hockey Head Coach position with a staggering $1 million gift. Wildcats Athletic Director Mark Jackson expressed gratitude, emphasizing that this remarkable donation echoes a pattern of commitment from alumni, parents, and friends. This substantial gift not only secures the field hockey program’s leadership but also underscores the depth of support within the Villanova community.

Track

Eastern Michigan University Charts a Course for Track & Field Excellence

Track and cross country alumni Dan McClory and Keith Moore have injected a dynamic boost into Eastern Michigan’s athletic ambitions with a generous $2 million gift. This funding is earmarked for the construction of a state-of-the-art outdoor track & field complex, a pivotal component of Phase Two of the Championship Building Plan. The comprehensive plan includes resurfacing football’s Rynearson Stadium, the removal of its existing track, and upgrading baseball’s Oestrike Stadium. Thanks to the commitment of its dedicated alumni, Eastern Michigan is gearing up to redefine its athletic landscape.

Golf

GameAbove Elevates Golf Experience at Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University celebrated the grand opening of the GameAbove Golf Performance Center at Eagle Crest Golf Course. Made possible by an $8 million gift from GameAbove, a collective of EMU alumni, this 13,000-square-foot, two-story facility is a testament to the transformative power of philanthropy. The center encompasses locker rooms, meeting spaces, indoor putting and chipping areas, and cutting-edge simulators. This facility not only enhances the golf program but also stands as a beacon of pride for EMU alumni.

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