SBD/August 1, 2013/FacilitiesPrint All
The Univ. of Oregon's new Football Performance Center adjacent to Autzen Stadium is a "combination of seriousness and whimsy," as the space is "filled with militaristic meeting rooms, spacious individualized player lockers, plush offices for coaches," and a two-story weight room, according to Mark Johnson of the Eugene REGISTER-GUARD. The facility also includes an "eating area that teases Pac-12 opponents, two practice fields, and welcoming and comfortable gathering areas." The facility is a gift from UO benefactor and Nike co-Founder & Chair Phil Knight, so the "price tag has been cloaked." However, estimates have put the building at $68M (REGISTERGUARD.com, 7/31). SI.com's Ian Thomsen wrote the 145,000-square-foot facility is "sure to set a new standard in the arms race to recruit and develop football talent." The specific color pantones of UO's uniforms are "threaded throughout the building; the black-glass walls of the meeting rooms serve as writing boards; several other walls are lined in Nike football leather." The complex "promises to be a major draw for recruits," as the facade is "black glass meant to cloak the building in mystery while also providing bright sunlit spaces within" (SI.com, 7/31). NFL.com's Dan Greenspan wrote the facility marks the "pinnacle of a building boom in the Pac-12." The center makes recent renovations at Alabama "look like the Crimson Tide simply splashed on a new coat of paint." Knight "understands the resources necessary to bring" great players to UO, and that "means he will simply outspend anyone hoping to outdo his new gift" (NFL.com, 7/31).
GET A LEG UP: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser noted the football facility is "really something because of the advantage in recruiting it gives to Oregon." He noted the coach's office has a hot tub and the building has its own barber shop. ESPN's Michael Wilbon said the facility is "an advantage immediately, but every school is building something" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/31). Meanwhile, ESPN's Bomani Jones said UO can build this facility "when you don’t pay the players." Jones: "They're like, 'Hey, if we have to pay the players how are we ever going to pay for this pool table?' Trust me, the kids would rather have the cash. Your fancy building is great … (but) give the boys that money in cash" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/31).
In Sacramento, Lillis, Kasler & Bizjak in a front-page piece report the conservative Orange County PAC Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods, which is "pushing a public vote" on Sacramento's proposed NBA arena, has "refused to disclose its donors or say why it's involved in the effort." The PAC is "working alongside a group of Sacramento activists gathering signatures for a ballot measure that would require voters to approve public subsidies for sports facilities." Proponents are "aiming for the June 2014 ballot" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 8/1).
SHIRTS & SKINS: Redskins GM Bruce Allen on Monday said of the team's new Richmond practice facility, "I think we have something here that will set the trend." Allen likened the facility to the "first Redskins Park," noting within "15 years every team in the league copied it." Allen noted in the new Richmond facility, the Redskins have "a training camp setting in the inner city, in your home base that other teams ought to follow and try and duplicate in the future." Allen said the move to Richmond will "save our football fields when we come back" ("Inside The Locker Room," ESPN Radio 980 DC, 7/29).
NAME GAME: In Baltimore, Chris Korman reported the Maryland State Employees Credit Union will pay $475,000 annually "over the next 10 years" to have Towson Univ.'s new basketball facility called SECU Arena. The deal also including the "use of one of the building's two large corporate suites and access to multipurpose rooms" in the $70M, 5,200-seat arena. SECU will have "signage throughout the arena, including on the court." Towson VP/Marketing & Communications Josianne Pennington said that the money from the naming-rights deal will be "used to pay for projects at the arena not covered by the original bonds issued to finance the facility" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 7/31).