The Stable has taken a bit of a summer vacation, but this news is a little too ground breaking to ignore. (See what I did there?)
Something we wrote about almost a year ago has become official, the SMU athletic program is taking its game to the next level with the addition of an on-campus indoor practice facility, an outdoor natural grass football practice field and a new soccer stadium (Not to mention they also installed brand new field turf inside Gerald J. Ford Stadium this week).
“This is a transformative plan for SMU Athletics and another tangible example of our commitment and desire to compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner in the statement released by the university.
To sum up what will become the south side of SMU’s campus…
— The indoor practice facility will be taking the place of Westcott Field (SMU’s soccer field)
— The new soccer field will take the place of the practice football field on the west side of Gerald J. Ford Stadium
“Our commitment to competing for championships and enhancing the student experience requires continued investment in student well-being and our people as well as our infrastructure,” said SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart in the same statement. “SMU and its donors and fans have made huge investments in athletics in recent years, and these projects are yet another step forward for our department.”
This will be ‘Phase I’ of an athletic department-wide $150 million master plan of upgrades. The estimated completion time of this project is 16 months, and SMU did not announce a specific start date.
From SMU, a few renderings of the facility redesign:
Above, basically a view from the top of Armstrong Commons — the north side of Gerald J. Ford is on the left, with the new facility finding a home between Binkley Garage. (It also appears this would wipe out the parking lots on the north side of the stadium next to those not-colored-in dorm rooms. So, the parking on campus battle will continue to rage.)
Below, the inside of the indoor facility.
And finally, the placement of the new soccer field on the west side of the football stadium.