The new athletics complex will redefine how we educate our student-athletes by improving our facilities and the support we provide as they study to achieve academic excellence, develop the necessary skills to become citizen leaders for tomorrow, and train to compete for championships.
The complex, with an estimated cost of $180 million, includes a Football Operations Center, an Olympic Sports Center designed to provide support to all 750 student-athletes competing in 27 varsity sports, three natural grass practice fields, a pedestrian promenade, and the renovation of the McCue Center—the current home of Virginia Football and the primary office building for athletics administration and a majority of our coaches.
Now, with the approval of the Board of Visitors last September, the new Virginia Athletics Master Plan will transform the athletics precinct on North Grounds and benefit every student-athlete, coach, and program, positioning UVA sports for tomorrow.
The athletics complex includes a Football Operations Center. The current home of Virginia Football, the McCue Center, opened in 1991 and is no longer suitable to house the needs of a Power 5 conference football program. Since the McCue Center opened, every current ACC football program has renovated or opened a new support facility. Virginia’s Football Operations Center will provide our student-athletes and coaches every opportunity to field a consistently competitive program. More importantly, this facility will allow our coaches and staff to safely and effectively train and develop our student-athletes. The Football Operations Center will feature a team locker room, position rooms, a team meeting room, and coaches’ and staff offices. In addition, there will be areas for strength and conditioning, sports medicine, sports nutrition, video operations, sports science and recovery, and an equipment room.
The Olympic Sports Center replaces the operations that were housed in University Hall, Onesty Hall, and the Cage, and contains programming that will benefit every Virginia student-athlete. The Olympic Sports Center will feature locker rooms for multiple sports; team meeting rooms; training facilities for rowing, track and field and wrestling; and coaches’ and staff offices. In addition, there will be areas for strength and conditioning, sports medicine, sports nutrition, video operations, and an equipment room.
The Center for Citizen Leaders and Sports Ethics will be located in the new Olympic Sports Center and is a critical component of the Athletics Master Plan. In collaboration with the vast resources offered by the University, ranked as one of the nation’s top three public universities for the last 28 years, the Center for Citizen Leaders and Sports Ethics will feature industry-leading programming in the areas of career development, leadership development, personal development, community engagement, and academic achievement.
The addition of two natural grass practice fields for football and another for field sports will significantly enhance the development of our student-athletes and provides the best chance for them to stay healthy during practice. Fewer injuries occur on grass practice fields than artificial surfaces and grass is the surface most of our field sports compete on throughout their seasons.
Once the project is complete, these three new fields, along with Perry Field, will provide greater flexibility for our coaches and student-athletes to balance training and development with their academic commitments.
The McCue Center is named after long-time UVA athletics sports medicine physician, Dr. Frank McCue III, and was dedicated on September 14, 1991. The McCue Center will be renovated as part of the athletics master plan allowing the Virginia Athletics Foundation and UVA Athletics External Operations to be housed in the athletics precinct.
The UVA athletics department is working closely with the University to help improve connectivity from Central Grounds to North Grounds. The addition of a pedestrian promenade as a prominent feature of the master plan helps provide this connectivity. The promenade also creates opportunities for the recognition of UVA athletics legends and dedicated donors whose financial support help make this project a reality.
“We want to make sure our sports programs are a source of great pride for the University, the community, and the commonwealth,” Carla Williams, athletics director, said. “These facilities allow us to create that type of long-term culture, and we know we have to raise the funds to make this a reality.”