Victory's framework? Indoor gridiron alters views and maybe football too

Drivers and pedestrians from Emmet Street to University Circle are getting a new view, as the steel framework of UVA's newest building, a planned indoor football facility, fills the sky near University Hall. A $13 million project, the 78,000 square-foot building takes the place of one of the two artificial turf fields.

"This facility is the number one priority in the athletics department right now and will add to the momentum Mike London has generated in his short tenure here," says (in a prepared statement) Athletic Director Craig Littlepage, taking note of the head coach's success which includes an 8-4 record last year along with an invitation to the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Besides offering a jaunty arched roof to passersby– thanks to the designers at Atlanta-based Knight Architects and at Charlottesville's own VMDO– the building will allow UVA athletes, and not just football players, to practice in inclement weather. And it comes after several other Atlantic Coast Conference schools unveiled similar facilities, according to Daily Progress sports maven Jerry Ratcliffe.

With all the money raised privately, the structure will be named for the yet-unnamed donor who, according to the facility's website, has pledged $5 million. As it turns out, so eager were they to build that, according to the minutes of its February meeting, the University Board of Visitors issued tax-exempt bonds– i.e. borrowed– up to $10 million to provide the initial funding until donations catch up.

Several donating and naming opportunities remain. A pledge of $1 million gets the field named in someone's honor, while each endzone can be be claimed for $500,000. And any pledge of $100,000 gives the donor the right– as long as he or she continues to donate at the annual "V Club" level (currently $6,200)– to buy two seats in the President's Box at Scott Stadium.

–photo changed at 6:48pm Saturday, August 18


A bit excessive don't you think?

As the arts and sciences are nickeled and dimed the monuments to sports continue to rise .
Perhaps one day students will take their courses at home online and only come to campus for sporting events.

Heaven forbid you have to practice an outdoor sport outdoors.

dan and Nancy:grow up.

How is being fiscally responsible a juvenile trait? Even ignoring the cost of building it, how much will it cost to maintain that building? Just the heating and cooling will be a considerable amount.

@dan1101 and NancyDrew: While I also find it dismaying that it would be next to impossible to raise that kind of money for English Dept., the truth of the matter is that nobody is lining up to spectate a literary debate. The money being discussed is private money and donated assets to UVA are nothing to complain about regardless of their end use. "Thank you" is the only thing that should be coming out of anyone's mouth including yours and mine.

You can have your opinion and we can have ours, but I find it stupid to build a huge building just so football players (big tough guys right?) don't have to be out in the weather.

And why should *I* be thanking anyone? No thanks.

College sports are out of control. It's disgusting to see resources wasted on buildings like this while academic programs struggle. In 20 years no one will be playing football anyway because the evidence about long-term brain damage from football will be so compelling that no responsible parent will let his or her child play.

Inquiring assistant defensive coaches want to know: How secluded are the showers?

@Bob: Grow up? Please do not tell me you are one who shows up Saturdays wearing orange and blue, chanting "wahoo-wa," and emoting more over a fumble than a proposed tax increase. Say it ain't so, Joe.

Fact is, the big money camel's nose (and humps) are under the tent in college football. Graduation rates? Sure, in sports marketing, anthropology, criminal justice and physical rehabilitation.

@Dawg: You may be spot on. Football could be on a collision course with extinction, as parents (and youngsters) will decide not to sound like Charlton Heston when they reach 50 years of age. Then the idiotic "wahoo-wa" chant will be heard from face-painted zealots listening intently in an ivy-covered building listening to reading whilst wearing "The Power of Pathos" t-shirts handed out by WWWV radio personalities.

R.I.P.: Andre Waters

The building will be an asset to all athletes, not just football. I am pretty sure the arts and sciences are not strugling at UVA. I just hope the facility will be accessible to the Cville community as well.