University of Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh this week defended a proposed $300 million practice facility.
The board approved submittal of the project to state lawmakers back in August for consideration as part of the 2023 state budget. McIntosh said that the university's current practice facilities are in poor quality compared to other schools in the Big Ten.
"First and foremost, it's important to clarify (that) this is a project that will serve more than just Badger football," McIntosh told NPR. "So, it is an indoor practice facility, and it will house a football field much of the same way that our current structure does in the McClain Center. But consistent with that, we use the McClain Center for a variety of sports in addition to football."
McIntosh said the project is an important project for all programs.
"But right now, the Shell building, which is adjacent to Camp Randall, is in its last years," he said. "The McClain Center, which was built in the 1980s, consists of an 80-yard field. We’ve just found ourselves in the bottom three or four programs within the Big Ten in terms of modern day indoor practice facilities. It has become a glaring need that we need to address."
Aside from new facilities, McIntosh also expressed his support for the recent addition of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten in 2024.
"It's a good position for UW-Madison and certainly the Big Ten. It's indicative of a changing landscape across college athletics," McIntosh said. "It would have been impossible a short time ago to envision an opportunity like the one that we were presented with — two great schools academically and athletically (with) a lot of history and tradition."