College Athletics Facilities Round-Up: September 2023 Part I

Last Updated on October 2, 2023

Welcome to the College Athletics Construction Roundup! In this bi-weekly series, we bring you the latest updates on the construction of intercollegiate athletics facilities from across the nation. September has already brought us some exciting developments, so let’s dive right into the action.

Stadiums

Oregon State’s Reser Stadium: A Sound System Overhaul

At Oregon State’s Reser Stadium, there’s a buzz of anticipation surrounding a much-needed sound system replacement. The current system has aged past the point of repair, and according to Beavers Senior Assoc. AD for External Operations, Sara Elcano, it’s time for a change. The new system is expected to cost around $2 million. The sooner the upgrade happens, the better for Beavers fans eager for improved gameday experiences, but the upgrade may not happen until later this season or even after.

NC State’s Daktronics Video Board: A Lightning-Proof Upgrade

NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium recently faced a power surge due to a lightning strike. However, the newly installed 166’x43′ Daktronics video board performed admirably, shutting itself down and rebooting, thanks to its built-in surge suppression system. The incident demonstrated the board’s resilience and the quick response of the NC State team.

Lane Stadium: Stormy Weather and Repairs

Fans at the recent football matchup between Virginia Tech and Purdue at Lane Stadium experienced an unexpected weather challenge. Heavy rains and hail damaged the scoreboard and left the field flooded.

Football

Coastal Carolina University Breaks Ground on Indoor Practice Facility

Coastal Carolina University is making strides with its new indoor practice facility, located near Brooks Stadium. This $20 million project, spanning approximately 90,000 square feet, will serve as a versatile space for football practice, featuring artificial teal turf and various amenities. The groundbreaking ceremony on September 7 marked an exciting milestone for the Chanticleers.

Bethune-Cookman’s Athletics Facilities Upgrades

Bethune-Cookman University is actively working on upgrading its athletics facilities. With more than $120,000 raised for Phase 2 of the project, recent updates include improvements to the football locker room and equipment. These enhancements are sure to improve the overall experience for college athletes.

Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium: A Moment of Truth

Memphis AD Laird Veatch emphasized the need to move forward with renovations at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. There’s a looming deadline in October, and it’s crucial to demonstrate collective support for the transformational project. The renovations are vital for the football program, and Veatch is determined to send the message that it is vital to continue to move forward, even as the city negotiates with the Memphis Grizzlies about FedEx Forum renovations.

Basketball

Varsity Basketball Training Center Approved at Oakland

The Oakland Board of Trustees has given the green light for the construction of the Varsity Basketball Training Center, a $5 million, 15,000-square-foot facility. This center will house locker rooms, a team lounge, a film room, and offices for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. It’s a significant step forward for Oakland University’s basketball programs and reflects President Pescovitz’s support for OU Athletics.

Athletics Project Begins DePaul University Philanthropic Expansion

On August 31, President Robert L. Manuel announced the goals of new philanthropic expansion that include transforming DePaul University’s athletics facilities and shaping academic initiatives. Renovation of the Sullivan Athletic Center and McGrath-Phillips Arena is scheduled to start this winter, with the first phase set to be completed in late summer 2024. Construction of the new basketball practice facility in the heart of the university’s Lincoln Park Campus is expected to commence summer 2025 and be completed by fall 2026. Both projects are estimated to total approximately $60 million and will be funded primarily through donor gifts.

Hockey

Ron Mason Rink at Michigan State’s Munn Arena

Michigan State is set to honor the late men’s hockey HC Ron Mason by christening the ice surface at Munn Arena as “Ron Mason Rink.” This tribute underscores Mason’s profound impact on Spartan hockey and the community. Munn Ice Arena has long been a beloved gathering place for Spartan fans.

Baseball

Troy’s Ongoing Enhancements to Riddle-Pace Field

Troy University continues to invest in its baseball program with new enhancements to Riddle-Pace Field. The upgrades include a new entry plaza, chairback seating, coaches offices, team meeting spaces, and more. Additionally, Trojans HC Skylar Meade is now one of the highest-paid coaches in the Sun Belt after signing a new deal. Future plans include further improvements to college athlete areas, such as an expanded locker room and dedicated nutrition space, among other additions.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates in our next installment as we continue to track the progress of these remarkable athletic construction projects across the country.

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