As construction vehicles beeped and roared in the background, Mark Alnutt looked around the cavernous complex, smiled and said, “This is a tremendous game-changer.”
It was summer and UB’s new athletics director was talking about the Murchie Family Fieldhouse being constructed next to UB Stadium. The 92,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in spring 2019.
When it does, it will be much more than a place for UB’s football team to train. In fact, there’s practice space for several sports, including track and field, softball and soccer. UB Recreation will hold classes and other programming there. All of that will help ease the squeeze on Alumni Arena, which Alnutt says is “busting at the seams.” There’s also capacity to hold events for up to 4,000 people.
The field house will serve as a potent recruiting tool for the entire Division of Athletics, according to Alnutt. What’s more, he says, it stands as a symbol of what’s to come. “It’s turning that light bulb on and announcing to people that we’re here and we’re going to continue to improve and become a prominent athletics department.”