The Bounce House would be expanded and enhanced under a proposal for UCF stadium upgrades by new athletic director Terry Mohajir as part of a larger facilities initiative.
Mohajir, who replaced University of Central Florida AD Danny White upon his departure for the University of Tennessee (along with UCF coach Josh Heupel), identified several key areas for UCF stadium upgrades both on the fan side and the player side.
His vision includes a football campus that includes housing, nutrition, sports performance and medicine, and academics spread across the football-stadium footprint. The UCF campus is on the newer side: the football stadium and other athletic venues (field house, ballpark) are located in the same general area, with an adjoining student retail district nearby. The first round of enhancements would be contained in an area called Nichoson Plaza and within the area McNamara Cove, featuring the Recovery River and hydrotherapy pools for player use. The space would also be the home of Covegating on football gamedays, recruiting and alumni events and corporate outings.
“Everything here has the ability to generate money except for the player areas,” Mohajir told UCF Trustees.
The second phase of the project is where the more visible additions are seen. The most notable addition: The Launch Club, a new structure on the south side of the Bounce House located above the Garvy Center for Student-Athlete Nutrition This new space would host UCF football coaches’ offices as well as premium seating in front of the office areas. The new area would feature loge seats with access to new premium club, and mid-level coaches’ offices deck, while the expansion of the student seating area would feature additional seating, standing-room only viewing decks, concessions and amenities in north end zone of Bounce House.
An expanded Wayne Densch Sports Center will feature an expansion and renovation of the team locker room, Bortles & Murray Athletics Training Room, Gault-Kohn Sports Performance Center (shown below) and equipment facility.
Right now the plan is conceptual, and it’s not been totally priced out. The total cost of all campus athletic-facility upgrades would be $130 million, with the football-stadium costs representing $50 million of that total. The changes would not change the total capacity of the stadium, but it would add some high-end loge seats and lower-end student spaces, with the loss in the middle. From the Orlando Sentinel:
“It doesn’t take a lot of seats and it doesn’t change the bowl that drastically,” Mohajir said of the enlargement that would require removing an undetermined amount of seats.
Mohajir said his proposal also calls for building standing-room-only spaces in the stadium similar to the ones used by Orlando City Soccer at Exploria Stadium. That would help provide additional areas for students to watch football games.
Meeting the growing demand for student seating has been a priority for the athletic department in recent years, with the maximum capacity set for 12,000 seats. Prior to last season, UCF had to turn away students for football games.
UCF has developed into a major college power, but in the era where things are changing rapidly, the school is playing catch-up. The stadium changes — especially if a naming-rights deal comes through in coming months — maintains the school as a potential major player in college football.