CU sports upgrades would cost $170 million
Officials from CU’s leadership, including new football coach Mike MacIntyre, presented a $170 million facilities upgrade plan to a subcommittee of the CU system’s regents during a meeting Wednesday in Colorado Springs.
The multiyear, multistage plan would be financed by $50 million in donations. The rest would come from athletic department revenue, which includes television contracts and tickets and merchandise sales, CU-Boulder spokesman Bronson Hilliard said. No money from taxpayers or students will be allocated to the project.
CU plans to launch a major fundraising campaign right away, Hilliard said. The $50 million figure was created as the result of a donor feasibility study, and the campaign will follow the precedent set by a prior one to upgrade Coors Event Center and facilities for the basketball and volleyball teams, he said.
Showing recruits that an athletic department has top-notch facilities is considered to be a crucial element in recruiting battles, and with CU’s move to the Pacific 12 Conference, the Buffaloes are competing with some of college football’s best programs.
CU athletic director Mike Bohn acknowledged that in the media release announcing the upgrades.
“This plan represents a carefully conceived, strategic investment in our future in the Pac-12 Conference,” Bohn said. “It will position us to attract the best student-athletes in the nation. It will improve the performance of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom, and it will enhance our fan experience.”
The first stage would build a new academic center for all CU student-athletes at Folsom Field. The current center is in the Dal Ward Athletic Center, which is north of the stadium.
The Dal Ward building would be renovated and expanded, with larger and upgraded locker rooms, training facilities, weight rooms and space for the coaching staff.
The Folsom Field and Dal Ward upgrades are projected to cost about $39 million. CU hopes to start work as soon as possible, Hilliard said.
The third element is an indoor practice facility, which would be built at 22nd Street and Arapahoe Avenue, adjacent to the team’s current outdoor practice fields. Seating on the west side of Folsom Field also would be upgraded.
That phase is about four years or so in the future, Hilliard said.
The final piece of the $170 million plan does not really involve athletes at all. Housing for CU students with families at the corner of Folsom Street and Arapahoe Ave. would be redeveloped. The current buildings are several decades old.
The master plan also includes upgrades to Coors Event Center, home of the Buffs’ basketball teams. Those upgrades – which are not included in the $170 million cost estimate – include improved facilities for the basketball and volleyball teams. The spectator concourse would also be improved and premium seating sections would be created.
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