Northwestern BoT Approves $250 Million Athletic Facilites Upgrade

Update, 10:49 a.m.: Press release on NUSports.com has some details and pictures. Looks like this will involve renovating SPAC, building the indoor practice facility above SPAC, taking up part of North Beach, with an outdoor facility south of the current lacrosse/soccer field where Dillo Day is currently held. The field hockey field looks like it gets axed in favor of a parking lot, presumably that team will play in one of the new fields. Morty and Jim Phillips have a presser scheduled for 1 p.m.

Its gameday, but big news last night from Teddy Greenstein, as the Northwestern Board of Trustees has apparently approved the major football facilities upgrade which has been bantered about in Northwestern circles for two or three years.

The facility will purportedly be near Lakeside Field, providing the Monday-Friday home for the football team on campus. From Teddy:

Sources expect the on-campus facility to be a "game-changer" for football recruiting, providing a wow factor for recruits and allowing players to practice, lift weights and meet with coaches and academic advisers without having to trudge a mile west to the Ryan Field area.

I'm not exactly sure on where this would be, but there are views of the Chicago skyline involved, so someplace on the lakefill it would seem.

The facilities would also include locker rooms and training areas for the lacrosse and soccer teams, intramural facilities and a track for non-football playing students, and would be the permanent home of DM, which is cool. It could open as early as fall 2014, but that seems unlikely. Its not clear what will happen to the current facility, the Nicolet Football Center, but Greenstein speculates that could be eliminated in future to allow for upgrades to Welsh-Ryan Arena.

So this is big news as it reshapes NU's campus a bit and would really make things look nice for potential football recruits. Nice to see something we've long heard bandied about may finally come to fruition.

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