MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The University of Memphis is celebrating an opening Wednesday of a facility that was a long time in the making.
It was ribbon cutting day for the long-awaited Memphis Tigers Football indoor practice facility. It’s taken almost a decade to come to fruition. Getting approval from the state, funding delays, and bureaucratic mish-mash had made the project seem like a pipe dream.
The dream was born in the midst of a 2-10 season in 2009 when the Tigers lacked the facilities of its nearby SEC rivals to compete. Memphis is now coming off a 12-2 season with a berth in the Cotton Bowl.
Head coach Ryan Silverfield said, “I don’t know much other to say than, wow! It’s just jaw dropping... I just really can’t wait to get our guys out here runing around. I know they’ll be excited.”
Senior linebacker J.J. Russell added, “I’m fired up! My freshman year I saw the video of this plan. Ever since then, the whole team has been working hard to get this. I thank all the former players before me for all their hard work too.”
The 78,000 square foot facility and surrounding improvements cost $11.2 million.