Univ. Of Oregon's New Football Center "Enough To Make NFL Teams Jealous"
The Univ. of Oregon's new Football Performance Center is "a testament to college football’s arms race, to the billions of dollars at stake and to the lengths that universities will go to field elite football programs," according to Greg Bishop of the N.Y. TIMES. The center, "paid for through a donation" from Nike co-Founder & Chair Phil Knight, is "luxurious enough to make NFL teams jealous." UO officials insisted that they "did not know the total cost" of the facility, but early design estimates were $68M. Nike and its relationship with the school "are obvious early and throughout" the facility. UO Senior Associate AD/Football Administration & Operations Jeff Hawkins said, "We are the University of Nike. We embrace it. We tell that to our recruits." Bishop wrote the center serves as an "answer to how the Ducks turned a mediocre program into an unlikely powerhouse in a city of just more than 150,000 people." Bishop: "Welcome to college football, circa 2013, where the best programs build Ritz-Carltons as much as Olympic training facilities and call them football centers." UO AD Rob Mullens said, "People will complain, but this is not excessive. This is probably the most complete space in college sports." The facility was designed by Portland-based ZGF Architects, Firm 151 and Hoffman Construction. ZGF Partner Eugene Sandoval and Firm 151 Principal Interior Designer Randy Stegmeier called the center "sleek, bombastic, cutting-edge" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/3).