SBD/September 25, 2013/Facilities

UCLA Announces Plans For New Football Training Facility Estimated To Cost $50M

UCLA hopes an upgrade will help in recruiting top talent to the Bruins
UCLA yesterday announced a campaign to raise private funds for a football training facility to be located on the west side of Spaulding Field, the practice field for the school's football team. The planned facility is intended to house a locker room, athletic training area, strength and conditioning facility, coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms, equipment rooms and video rooms. The project, estimated to cost $50M, will be funded by private donations. A feasibility study analyzed the site conditions, and UCLA has elected to move the project forward with a request for proposal to select an architect (UCLA). In California, Ryan Kartje noted the projected cost is $15M "more than the initial request had estimated." There is "no real timetable for completing" the proposed facility. Football coach Jim Mora said that he "never felt like UCLA's facilities were 'poor,' having worked in much worse conditions as an NFL assistant coach," but he acknowledged that college football "is a different animal entirely." A new facility "will certainly help make his job easier." Mora: "It's huge in recruiting. If you don't have facilities, it's hard to attract top talent" (OCREGISTER.com, 9/24). In L.A., Jack Wang writes college football has seen "a sort of arms race ensue, in which the most extravagant facilities now hold everything from waterfalls to barbershops." To most 17-year-olds, the "glitz is hard to resist." UCLA currently uses Bud Knapp Football Center, which is "located on the first floor" of the Acosta Athletic Complex. The 15,000-square-foot weight room in the complex "is shared by all sports teams." Other Pac-12 teams, including Oregon, Washington and Cal, have "upgraded their training areas in recent years." The $50M price tag "may be a conservative estimate, but UCLA is also restricted by a small campus" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/25).

FABRIC OF FOOTBALL: In Dallas, Liz Farmer notes maintenance crews yesterday "were putting the finishing touches on the newly renovated Cotton Bowl." Fans will notice "several improvements since last year, including shiny new floors decorated with the Cotton Bowl logo in the entrances to the stadium." New banners inside "highlight the 21 Heisman Trophy winners who have played at the Cotton Bowl." The stadium "added 336 club-level seats with larger aisles, cup holders and stadium seating, as opposed to the bleachers that most fans populate." The conversion "cost the stadium about 300 seats, which brings the total occupancy down to 92,200" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/25).
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