Athletics, Football, Sports

Plans for new facility brings excitement to the U

Miami Hurricanes football officially announced the Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility with a short video released last Friday, showing a blueprint and plans for the new $34 million facility.

Students and community fans are excited for the new facility, which is an important addition to the program and its recruitment of new players.

“I think having the indoor practice facility is just another step in returning the U to its historical greatness,” junior Hunter Sable said. “With this addition and continued renovations of athletic facilities, along with our brand partnership with Adidas, the U is becoming increasingly desirable under Mark Richt.”

The football team, as expected, has been put constantly under the spotlight. With the unveiling of the new uniforms at the Rathskeller two weeks ago, and this highly-anticipated announcement, the team is grabbing the attention of fans it never had before.

“I usually don’t care much about sports, but I’ve loved that we’ve been playing so well and are ranked this year,” sophomore Chelsea Sanzone said. “I’m hoping we can keep improving going into the future, so whatever it takes to get there, I support it.”

The practice facility is expected to be completed in 2018. It will be a state-of-the-art, 81,800-square-foot building located on the south side of the Greentree Practice Fields. This indoor practice area will not only be important for keeping the athletes cooler on hot days, but it will also allow for the team to practice on any day, at any time, regardless of the weather.

The University of Miami is the only Power 5 conference school without an indoor practice space. The facility will hopefully attract new athletes to the U.

“The biggest criticism of the Miami athletic department over the last decade has been the lack of focus on facilities, particularly an indoor practice facility for football,” Sports Administration Professor Windy Dees said. “Building this complex should strengthen Miami’s image and help return them to national prominence in a multitude of areas including recruiting, training and branding.”

The facility will not only bring in new talent, but it will also keep the current football players motivated and looking toward the future of their team.

“We are extremely excited for the new facility,” wide receiver Braxton Berrios said. “Not only will it be huge in preparation for games, but it will also be incredibly helpful in the recruiting process. It’s a long overdue project.”

The facility will also include a recruiting suite, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices, views of the other fields and connections to the Hecht Athletic Center weight room and the Schwartz Center’s player locker room.

The new practice area is being funded completely by donors. The largest donation so far has been $14 million from billionaire real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer and his family. The donation, made in honor of Soffer’s mother, Carol, is the largest in UM athletics history. One million dollars has also been donated by Head Coach Mark Richt and his wife, Katharyn. Construction of the facility will only begin once the entire $34 million is raised. To donate or find out more information, visit HurricanesFootballFacility.com.

 

September 28, 2016

Reporters

Amy Grundleger


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