Ohio State has slowed but not halted construction the past few months on its athletics facilities projects.
Construction on the 75,000-square-foot, $23 million Ty Tucker Tennis Center should hit completion next month, according The Columbus Dispatch, and it’s all due to increased revenues and expanded fundraising over the past two decades.
However, a slowdown may be coming.
Ohio State has put on hold an ice hockey rink and indoor track, and the school will wait to break ground on a $21 million lacrosse stadium until at least late next year.
“I’m not concerned about it down the road,” athletic director Gene Smith told the Dispatch. “It’s easy for me to hit ‘pause’ because we have to focus on the present and deal with the pandemic. But eventually, in one year I don’t know when that is, none of us can predict that we’ll get back to working the plan.”
The pause in certain projects comes after Ohio State last summer completed the 3,700-seat Covelli Center for volleyball and wrestling teams, and six months later wrapped up the Schumaker Complex for all Olympic sports athletes. The two facilities combined cost over $100 million.
While the loss of a football season this year is a big concern, Smith says there is a way forward.
“We know we may not have football,” Smith said. “We know we may have football with no fans. But that does not impact our ability to raise dollars for lacrosse.”
The Buckeyes currently support 36 varsity sports, and as of now the school has not announced plans to cut any of them, and any slowdown is not expected to last.
Former athletic director Andy Geiger, who completed a number of facilities projects during his tenure and started the lacrosse facility, told the Dispatch things will pick up again.
“It’ll slow it down, but they’ll get there,” Geiger said. “The program just has enormous power economically. It’s as good as there is in the world.”