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. Part I of our September round-up brought some exciting developments, so let’s dive right into what’s new.
Memphis’ Ambitious Renovation Plans
Memphis is buzzing with ambitious renovation plans for its athletic facilities. Mayor Jim Strickland presented a groundbreaking proposal that could provide nearly $500 million for FedExForum and an additional $220 million for Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. This comes in addition to the $350 million approved by state lawmakers earlier this year. If approved, these projects could transform the city’s sports landscape, and the University of Memphis hopes to see its Liberty Stadium renovation plans fully realized, with a total price tag of around $295 million.
La Salle’s TruMark Financial Center Transformation
La Salle University has exciting plans for its TruMark Financial Center, including a unique 360-degree bowl design that will change the court’s orientation from east to west. The renovation aims to create a more intimate and intense atmosphere for fans, offering an unparalleled collegiate experience for current and future college athletes.
Alcorn State’s Expanding Renovation Project
Alcorn State’s Whitney Complex renovation, initially estimated at $30 million, may see an increase to $40 million. This expansion includes considerations for additional square footage and the inclusion of wish-list items. Although the timeline for groundbreaking remains uncertain, the project is progressing in phases, with funding allocations being a key step.
Honoring Legends at Grambling State
Grambling State University is set to pay tribute to two legends by naming the field inside Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium after James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams. These men not only made significant contributions to the university, but also broke down barriers during their playing days. The naming is a testament to their remarkable achievements.
Monkton Stadium’s Sustainable “Green Gym”
Monkton Stadium has opened a “Green Gym” featuring sustainable SportsArt equipment. This environmentally friendly initiative aligns with the growing focus on sustainability in sports facilities, providing athletes and fitness enthusiasts with an eco-conscious fitness experience.
Syracuse’s Vision for a New Football Operations Center
Syracuse University has officially broken ground on its new football operations center at the John A. Lally Athletic Complex. This facility signifies a commitment to competing at a national level and providing student-athletes with opportunities for academic and athletic growth. The center will be a transformative addition to the Syracuse sports program.
Boise State’s Trademark on Non-Green Football Fields
Boise State has filed for a federal trademark related to its iconic blue playing surface at Albertsons Stadium. The trademark encompasses the use of “the color blue” but also extends to any non-green playing field in connection with intercollegiate sporting events or exhibitions. This development could have implications for colleges and high schools with non-traditional field colors.
Boston College’s Hoag Basketball Pavilion Revamp
Boston College has officially dedicated its revamped Hoag Basketball Pavilion, made possible by a generous $15 million lead gift from alum and trustee Mikey Hoag. The facility features new player locker rooms, sports medicine and nutrition centers, a practice gym, and more. This donation is the largest in Eagles athletics history and signifies a significant step forward for the basketball programs.
Nevada’s Arena Rebranding
Nevada Athletics has plans to rebrand the Lawlor Events Center as the new home for the women’s basketball team once the men’s hoops team moves out. The goal is to create a venue that better suits the women’s program, providing an optimal environment for their continued success. The transition is expected to take place in the coming years.
A Billion-Dollar Entertainment District for Nevada
The Grand Sierra Resort has unveiled plans for a colossal $1 billion entertainment district, complete with a state-of-the-art arena intended to be the new home for the Nevada men’s basketball team. This private capital investment, with no public funds involved, represents the largest single-project investment in the city’s history. The new arena is expected to open in the fall of 2026.
Binghamton’s Lane-Starke Tennis Center Expansion
Binghamton University celebrated the formal dedication of the Lane-Starke Tennis Center, which now includes nine brand new outdoor courts and six refurbished indoor courts. This expansion enhances the facility’s capabilities for championship competition and year-round practice. The center is named after a generous contributor, Michael Lane, and former Bearcats Head Coach Michael Starke.
Iowa’s New Gymnastics and Spirit Squads Training Center
This fall, the University of Iowa is set to begin construction on a new $20 million Gymnastics and Spirit Squads Training Center. The facility will feature a climate-controlled practice space with competition-style equipment, locker rooms, meeting and athletic training rooms, offices, and a multi-purpose room. It represents a significant investment in the development of gymnastics and spirit programs.
Arthur Blank’s $50 Million Commitment to U.S. Soccer
Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, has pledged $50 million to support the construction of a National Training Center for U.S. Soccer in metro Atlanta. This facility will serve as the headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation and become a central hub for the entire soccer community, including coaches and referees. It is a significant investment in the growth of soccer in the United States.
Bonus: The Future of the Thomas & Mack Center
The Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus is adapting to a changing sports and entertainment landscape in Las Vegas. While it may no longer host as many major events as in the past, it remains a valuable venue for the community. The Mountain West’s contract with the arena expires after this season, and future plans are under consideration.