College Facility Notes: Kansas Wins Approval For $26M Indoor Football Practice Facility
In Lawrence, Peter Hancock in a front-page piece reports the Univ. of Kansas Board of Regents yesterday gave the school "authority to build" a $26M indoor football practice facility. KU "wants to build the facility close to Memorial Stadium." The current indoor facility, the Anschutz Sports Pavilion, is "near Allen Fieldhouse, 0.7 miles from Memorial Stadium" and has to be "shared by several sports teams." The indoor practice facility is just "one part" of an overall $300M renovation project that KU has "planned for Memorial Stadium, a project that is expected to be funded entirely with private donations" (LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD, 11/16).
GO ROUTE: In Houston, Joseph Duarte noted the Univ. of Houston used its new $20M indoor football practice facility for the "first time last week." The 80,000-square-foot facility features a "high-tech video board, seven remote-controlled cameras to catch practice from every angle and a 120-yard synthetic playing surface." There is an "additional 25,000 square feet that can be used for offensive and defensive line breakout drills," while a translucent panel "allows for sun to come into the facility without the glare." To "maximize cooling, the air conditioning system is designed to cool 20 feet and below." Large UH graphics "greet visitors as they walk into the lobby." The project was "entirely funded through private donations from 20 donors, who are recognized with a wall plaque at every yard marker." UH AD Hunter Yurachek said, "This is the nicest in the country" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/15).
BUILDING BLOCK: In Texas, Brett Vito reported the Univ. of North Texas Board of Regents is "expected to approve plans for an indoor practice facility during the group's regularly scheduled meetings this week." UNT officials "prioritized the venue shortly after" AD Wren Baker took over in the summer of '16. The 94,000-square-foot venue will include a "full length football field, a three-land track and support spaces." It is "set to be built near the Mean Green Athletic Center" at a cost of $18.9M. A total $7.5M in gifts is "expected to go toward construction that is slated to be completed" in July '19 (DENTON RECORD-CHRONICLE, 11/14).
IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED: In Arkansas, Jones & Murphy in a front-page piece reported up to $10M in improvements are "needed for War Memorial Stadium to continue hosting" Univ. of Arkansas football games. Documents and emails exchanged among officials from the university, Fayetteville and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism "detail several improvements" that school officials "say are needed to bring the stadium in line with fan demands, meet needs of TV partners and support potential changes" to SEC regulations. The university has "played annually at the stadium since it opened" in '48, but the program's future there is in "doubt after a contract between the parties ends" in '18 (ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE, 11/15).