SBJ/December 5 - 11, 2005/SBJ In Depth

Work zone

The schools below were among the busiest in sports construction over the past 10 years. Other schools not listed here may have committed more money, but were less diverse in spreading the construction spending.

Rank School
Facility spending (in millions)
1 Ohio State
Notes: New facilities for basketball, baseball and swimming, new training facilities for several sports, upgrades at hockey, softball and track venues. And there was that little $194 million expansion of Ohio Stadium completed in 2001.
2 Michigan
Notes: Non-revenue sports baseball, softball, tennis, field hockey and rowing all received new facilities. Michigan Stadium received a recent $165 million renovation, but expansion at other schools — most notably Big Ten rival Penn State — has threatened UM’s status as having the largest stadium in the country. UM’s response: a planned $200 million expansion.
3 Maryland
Notes: New golf, tennis, field hockey/lacrosse venues since 1999; basketball’s $123.5 million Comcast Center was the most expensive college arena ever built when it opened in 2002 (see U Va. below).
4 Virginia
Notes: $128 million John Paul Jones Arena opens next fall, topping Maryland (see above) as college basketball’s biggest price tag ever; $86 million football stadium expansion completed in 2000.
5 Penn State
Notes: New track and field, basketball, tennis, field hockey venues; $14.7 million football training complex; $93 million football stadium expansion pushed capacity to 107,282.
6 Texas Tech
Notes: The Red Raiders scored the biggest naming rights deal for a college stadium, when SBC signed a 20-year, $20 million deal to help pay for the $90 million football stadium expansion completed in 2002. A new $51 million arena opened in 1999 and a $22 million baseball stadium, which the school will share with a minor league team, opens in the spring.
7 North Dakota
Notes: Yes, North Dakota. In the span of a few months back in 2001, the school opened $164 million in two new facilities — a domed football stadium and an arena for its basketball and perennially top-ranked hockey team. The arena has already been expanded.
8 North Carolina State
Notes: A torrid spending spree on football and a $30 million contribution to share an arena with a pro team (the NHL Carolina Hurricanes) has put the program in the national spotlight.
9 Texas
Notes: Proudly outspending rival Texas A&M, a $90 million football expansion in 1999 was followed by a $55 million arena project in 2003. The upcoming $18 million baseball expansion is funded primarily by college baseball’s biggest naming rights deal — $13.1 million from a local credit union.
10 Florida State
Notes: Although most of this amount went to football, the school makes our list because it took over operation of the civic-owned arena, renovated it and added a $14 million practice gym to it. The baseball stadium had a $13 million upgrade in 2004, and new softball and soccer venues opened.
11 LSU
Notes: A massive fund-raising campaign resulted in upgrades to nearly every major venue, including a current football project that will boost capacity to more than 92,000.
12 Oklahoma State
Notes: An $86 million football expansion should be finished in the spring, and the school has spread its spending to build new golf, soccer and softball venues.
13 Stanford
Notes: The perennial NACDA Directors’ Cup winner for best overall athletic program spreads its spending across all sports. One of the few schools to have a rugby-only venue.
14 Purdue
Notes: New or extensively upgraded facilities for nearly every sport, including a $17.1 million natatorium.
15 Louisville
Notes: New baseball, track and field, basketball, lacrosse, softball, football, soccer and basketball practice facilities. One of the few schools to have a field hockey-only venue.

Source: David Broughton, SportsBusiness Journal research
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