The University of Florida has nearly completed Florida Ballpark at Alfred A. McKethan Field. The $65 million facility, designed by Populous, will have 4,000 permanent chairback seats, which combine with premium seating options, grass berms and non-traditional seating to give the ballpark a capacity of 7,000, with the ability to expand capacity up to 10,000. A 360-degree concourse will offer views of the action throughout the facility. Team amenities include a lounge space, a private nutrition area, a locker room, video and team meeting rooms, indoor pitching and batting cages, enhanced training and rehabilitation areas, and a reception area.
Wichita State University recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its Student-Athlete Center. The 36,000-square-foot facility features a 3,000-square-foot study hall, tutoring rooms and a computer center, as well as dedicated space for the school's track and cross country programs, with men's and women's locker rooms, a team room, an athletic training facility and a strength and conditioning center.
The University of Oregon recently unveiled the newly completed Hayward Field track and field stadium. With a 140-meter indoor track, throwing and jumping pits, a weight room, locker and equipment rooms, a theater, a medical facility, hydrotherapy pools and a barbershop, the facility will host the U.S. Olympic Trials in the summer of 2021, as well as the Track and Field World Championships in 2022.
Florida A&M University recently received a grant of $10 million from the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency to upgrade Bragg Memorial Stadium. The funds will support the first major renovation of the facility since 1980, which will help to ensure its long-term viability. Project goals include addressing structural issues and stadium functions, including upgrading the press box, lighting and restroom facilities.
The Whitefish (Mont.) School Board was recently presented with new design renderings for the Whitefish High School sports complex. The $6 million facility is expected to provide a home for the school's football and soccer teams, which currently play at a rented facility. Plans call for a 10-lane track encircling a turf field, with seating for approximately 3,000 fans. In addition, the project will include a 1,500-seat soccer stadium and practice field, as well as a multipurpose fieldhouse that will serve the wrestling program. The district will seek bids for the project in January, and fundraising is likely to continue into 2021.
Construction on the Innovation Center complex in San Antonio began in October. The 130,000-square-foot venue includes a 2,500-seat arena for esports competition, concerts and other events. The facility will also include a 24-hour LAN Gaming Center, which will provide the public with a gathering space for gaming events. The facility is expected to be completed in early 2022.
Construction for the Willa D. Johnson Recreation Center in Oklahoma City is expected to begin in November. Plans call for basketball courts, walking/jogging tracks, class space, multi-use rooms, office space and a natatorium. The budget for the project was set at $12.8 million, but construction bids came in below that figure, so additional amenities may be included. Construction of the 33,800-square-foot facility is expected to be completed by February 2022.
This article originally appeared in the November|December 2020 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Forward Progress." Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.