UTSA President Taylor Eighmy shocked UTSA fans last night when he unexpectedly announced an indoor practice facility for the UTSA football program during the Frank Wilson Radio Show.
On the radio show Eighmy voiced his displeasure with UTSA’s sub-par facilities, comparing them to what opposing Conference USA schools can boast. It’s clear that Eighmy finds the athletic facilities at UTSA to be unacceptable, as he’s made this a primary focus of his presidency in his first year on campus.
Nearly two months ago UTSA first announced their plans to construct the Roadrunner Athletics Center for Excellence, a state of the art athletics/academic facility on campus. Eighmy’s comments on the Frank Wilson radio show showed that the scope for this project is much larger than what was first suggested.
In an interview with Andy Everett, Eighmy disclosed that the facility is expected to stand at 110,000 square feet once complete. This facility will include an on-campus indoor practice facility, as well as an adjacent outdoor practice field with real grass for the Roadrunners to prepare for opponents that do not play on FieldTurf. For comparison's sake, UNT’s indoor practice facility that will be completed before the 2019 football season will measure 98,000 square feet.
The Roadrunners’ model for their new facility is a recently-completed complex at Kansas State that was designed by Populous, the same architecture firm that UTSA has employed for their RACE facility. The final cost of the Wildcats’ facility was $65 million. Featuring waterfalls in heated jacuzzis and flat screen TVs embedded in lockers, KSU’s facilities can stand with some of the finest in the nation.
It remains to be seen if UTSA will be able to raise enough money to match the Kansas State facility pound for pound, but Taylor Eighmy did mention that the facility will have new locker rooms, weight rooms, training spaces, a recovery lounge, dining areas, and academic classrooms. Even if the RACE facility isn’t as swanky as Kansas State’s, just the functional aspect alone will put UTSA near the top of the facilities arms race in Conference USA. The Roadrunners will join Houston, SMU, and UNT as Texas G5 programs with indoor practice facilities.
With groundbreaking expect to occur next fall, UTSA will need to launch an aggressive fundraising campaign very soon if they hope to secure the funding necessary to construct a truly top-notch facility that reaches the vision of the UTSA leadership. Eighmy told fans to expect “exciting news soon”, which could probably be construed as a major donation to kick off a fundraising program.
You can listen to UTSA President Taylor Eighmy’s interview on the Frank Wilson radio show at the video below.