UM Athletics has been making progress in the construction of the Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility, which is expected to be completely enclosed by late June 2018 and ready for use by August 1.
The construction has been taking place right next to the existing Greentree Practice Fields and the Herbert Wellness Center.
The state-of-the-art facility will change the way football practice is run, especially during times of inclement weather.
“We might be in the middle of a practice, and the horn says lightning is coming,” head coach Mark Richt said. “There will be doors that will roll up, and we’ll be able to run on the indoor field and continue practice without missing a beat.”
Many other football programs already have indoor fields, but Richt said UM will actually be able to use this to its advantage. Miami will be able to add to what these schools already have and capitalize on opportunities other teams have failed to take into account.
UM has many details planned, including the design of goalposts, the space between the sidelines and walls, and methods to enhance light while at the same time mitigating glare.
“We will shine most of our lights up to shine on the white ceiling, which will light the building without receivers having to look up and see lights shining in their face,” Richt said.
The building will house more than just a football field. It will include coach’s offices, spaces for offensive and defensive lineman drills and provide a place for injury rehabilitation workouts.
The building is an engineering marvel. Lemartic Construction is in charge of constructing the facility, and chief operating officer Jose García-Tuñón said it is set to be 82,000 square feet and be made of 1,200 tons of steel upon completion.
The facility is also hurricane-proof, and while Richt does not anticipate practicing inside during an actual storm, he did mention that the solid building may be used as a shelter if ever necessary.
More than 32 million dollars have been raised so far, including one million from the Richt family itself. Anyone can donate to the cause at give2ipf.com.