Thanks to a contribution from an anonymous donor, the University of Missouri can now plan a new football training facility.
Mizzou has previously discussed building a new practice facility for the football team. To this point cost had been a concern, but the university recently received a $10 million donation, allowing to it to better plan for the project.
To be constructed on the south end of Memorial Stadium, the facility has an estimated cost of $75 million. It is still early in the process, so Mizzou has to arrange other particulars before it is known what the facility will look like and what it will encompass. Yet what is established is that the donation jump starts a project that once had some difficulty getting off the ground.
Pitched by both former head coach Gary Pinkel and current head coach Barry Odom, the center is seen by many Mizzou officials–including athletic director Jim Sterk–as a way to make the program more competitive. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“Having new facilities and facilities that are comparable in the SEC helps elevate the program in the eyes of the potential players that would entertain coming here,” Sterk said. “It’s a step in the right direction and is part of the rebuilding and rebranding of Mizzou.”
After Mizzou joined the SEC, Pinkel first started talking about his hope to build a plush team facility south of Memorial Stadium. [former AD Mack] Rhoades favored a more inclusive building that would incorporate all MU athletes at a different location. In the spring, after Odom replaced Pinkel as coach, Rhoades said all of the school’s proposed locations for the project centered on the site of MATC. Rhoades has since left for the AD job at Baylor.
“Mack was trying to encompass all the athletics department into one building,” Sterk said. “What we’ve tried to do with this is really focus on the needs and what’s going to help football more quickly … and really focus on what Barry felt was important for his program.”
Across college sports, there has been something of a trend of making player facilities more versatile by allowing them to be attached to or directly offer fan amenities. Mizzou’s preliminary plans follow that trend, as the school is also considering installing a new videoboard and premium seating options on the south end.
Image courtesy Mizzou football.