Oregon has filed a permit application to construct a new, 130,000-square foot indoor football practice facility within the Ducks’ Autzen Stadium Complex site, replacing an existing one it now deems as “undersized.”
According to documents posted online, the University of Oregon Foundation submitted its permit request—as well as a detailed proposal—with the City of Eugene’s planning and development department last month.
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The project’s objective was primarily framed in terms of athlete welfare, and will be paid for with private donor funds, an athletic department spokesman said, adding that the facility is slated to be ready by 2024.
“The new facility will allow the team to stay on schedule while ensuring a healthy environment for athletes, coaches and staffs,” the application states.
Specifically, the new proposed practice facility would allow Oregon’s football team to “set up for multiple types of drills concurrently, maximizing the efficiency of allotted practice time.”
In addition, a 40,000-square foot “connector building” would bridge the practice field to the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, where UO’s football operations are housed, and players and coaches would traverse the buildings through “operable kinetic doors.”
The project includes an expanded football weight room and a player’s lounge. The permit application does not indicate how much the new project is expected to cost, but Oregon has proven capable of throwing big money towards athletic facility upgrades.
The permit request closely follows UO’s unveiling this past spring of its new, $200 million-plus Hayward Field, the country’s costliest track facility.
Autzen Stadium was originally built in 1967 for a cost of $2.5 million, and then underwent a $90 million “facelift” before the 2002 season. With funding from Nike boss and UO mega-booster Phil Knight, the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex was completed in 2013, helping to usher in the modern real estate boom for college football auxiliary buildings.
Last fall, Oregon through the gauntlet down in the scoreboard arm’s race by installing college football’s largest video screen, for the price of $12 million.
Meanwhile, the Ducks’ Willamette Valley rival, Oregon State, is currently in the process of a $153 million renovation of its football stadium.
According to its permit application, the University of Oregon Foundation previously held meetings about the project with City of Eugene staff in mid-August.