MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The University of Memphis broke ground on a new indoor practice facility Thursday.
The new 76,000-square foot facility includes a 100 yard football field, training rooms, football offices, and areas for academic and nutritional support.
The project is part of the U of M's $40 million 'Time to Shine' campaign, which also includes a new 58,000-square foot basketball facility that's already under construction. The project is funded by private donations to the U of M Athletic Department.
The indoor practice facility is more than five years in the making
"Today is a monumental day for Memphis Tiger Football," Memphis Board of Trustee Member Alan Graf said.
The hold up on the project was a result of U of M being governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. The board refused to approve the practice facility until the university raised all the funds needed to build it.
When the university left the Tennessee Board of Regents in March and created its own board, the project finally saw a green light.
"Now the university is free to do what the leadership of the university wants to do," Graf said. "With the board of trustees supporting David and Tom, things like this are going to happen."
"This facility is state of the art in how it's designed to meet all the needs for our football players, and allow our coaches to their job every single day in the facility here with the team as we move forward building our champions," Athletic Director Tom Bowen said.
Memphis head football coach Mike Norvell facility shows progress and will maximize his student-athletes' experience with the program.
"In college football today it's big. I mean you know, you have young men that are all looking at where they can go to be developed and to have the opportunity to enjoy every resource that helps them as a student athlete," Norvell said.
Bowen said the project will be completed in 13 to 19 months.