Published September 15, 2017
The longtime dream of an on-campus fieldhouse at UB will soon be a reality. Athletics Director Allen Greene announced today that the university has secured the services of Rochester-based LeChase Construction as the general contractor and New York-based architecture firm CHA for the project.
The 92,000-square-foot indoor practice facility will be located just beyond the north end zone of UB Stadium on the North Campus. Construction is slated to begin in October, with a completion date tentatively scheduled for the spring 2019.
“This facility is a game-changer for us and is very important to our success moving forward,” Greene said. “It’s a facility that is going to enhance the entire student-athlete experience at UB and benefit every one of our student-athletes, as well as the general student population.”
The multi-use facility will not only house a full-size football field, but also feature 6,000 feet of rubber track for sprint practice, as well as long/triple jump and pole vault pits. It also will have motorized suspended softball hitting tunnels.
The facility will house university events, expanded student recreation programming and intramurals. With the new fieldhouse, UB is among 10 other Mid-American Conference schools that have such a facility in the 12-member conference.
“The University at Buffalo has a strong tradition of outstanding student-athletes who are successful both in the classroom and on the field,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. “The intent of UB’s vision to create a 21st-century living and learning campus is to ensure that all of our students — whether they are aspiring artists, architects, athletes, researchers or physicians — have the same opportunities to be successful academically and in all of their extracurricular endeavors.
“This field house will be an asset that benefits not only our student-athletes, but our entire university community.”
The $18 million fieldhouse is being funded through philanthropy and football revenue. No state funds are being used for the project.
A groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Oct. 7 prior to the Bulls’ homecoming football game against Western Michigan.
More information about the new facility is available at UBBulls.com/fieldhouse.
UB athletics and recreation coaches and staff said they are excited about the new facility.
“It’s a very exciting time for us to get a fieldhouse,” said football head coach Lance Leipold. “This has been a topic of conversation for 15 to 20 years and to finally have this opportunity to provide our student-athletes with an offseason place where they can work on their skills is tremendous. It’s going to benefit the whole athletic department, whether it be in a practice setting, a strength-and-conditioning session or student-athletes working out on their own. It’s going to benefit each team in very unique ways.”
Track and field head coach Vicki Mitchell said her team is very excited to have the promise of a new fieldhouse in the near future. “For us, as a cross country and track-and-field program, the benefits and impacts are going to be enormous. Our student-athletes are going to have the ability to train inside on a good user-friendly surface. We’ll be able to do field-event work that has previously been limited in the winter time. It’s going to open up a whole new opportunity to develop as a team.”
Sharon Sanford, associate athletic director for recreation and sport management, said the new fieldhouse “will allow us to enhance and expand our recreation programming and positively impact intramural sports, SA sports clubs and the entire student body. This space will be a game-changer for us as we continue to move toward a new campus recreation facility.”
Women’s soccer head coach Shawn Burke said that being back on campus is going to be tremendous for the team. “We’ve had to load up vans and travel off campus to the facility we’ve used in the past and which was much smaller than a regulation field. Having this full-size facility will allow us to do things on a larger scope to prepare for the fall,” he said. “The convenience of being on campus and having a first-rate facility is only going to improve our profile.”