Virginia football reached a major milestone Thursday with the groundbreaking ceremony for its new Football Operations Centerthe next phase of Virginia Athletics Master plan. The 90,000 square foot facility is expected to be completed by the spring of 2024 and will be a significant improvement over the McCue Center – the current, badly outdated Football Program facility that has been in use since 1991.
The $80 million building will provide a centralized location for all day-to-day football operations and allow teammates and coaches to cultivate closer relationships. It will also level the playing field for the Cavaliers from a recruiting perspective, as the program’s current facilities put it at the bottom of the ACC. The operations center is a sign of the University’s commitment to football, and it would undoubtedly lead to better results on the pitch.
Athletic Director Carla Williams made improving the school’s athletic facilities a top priority upon arriving on Grounds in 2017 and, in partnership with former football coach Bronco Mendenhall, a vision was developed for the future of Virginia Athletics. The construction of the Football Operations Center is the long-awaited start of the second phase of the master plan, with the first phase – two floodlit natural grass training pitches – having been completed in the summer of 2020.
“It’s not flashy, but it’s exactly what we need to compete for championships,” Williams said. “That’s what we wanted. You will have everything it should have. State-of-the-art sports medicine, which includes everything: strength and conditioning, coaching offices, nutrition, technology to help our players and coaches prepare, is huge these days. »
Hailing from Clemson Football Powerhouse, Coach Tony Elliott knows what a winning program looks like and what winning facilities look like. Like many others, he sees it as an essential springboard for Virginia’s future success.
“As we challenge and push these young men to lead us into becoming a model program, it’s important that we show them that we fully support them in everything they do,” Elliott said. “And this space in the new facility is going to give us all the room we need, as well as all the resources we need, to engage these young men holistically to create the model program in all of college football.”
With Phase II of the master plan officially underway, the next step for Virginia Athletics is to complete its fundraising efforts for the third and final phase – a new olympic sports center and renovated McCue Center. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 with hopes of completion in the spring of 2025. Despite the lack of elite facilities, the University’s Olympic sports have excelled year after year, and one can only imagine what a new facility will mean for the future of equestrian athletics. .