TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona unveiled the new, multi-million dollar Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center Sunday.
Just across the street from Arizona Stadium, on the former site of Kindall-Sancet Stadium, the $16.5 million indoor facility is temperature controlled, so teams can work through the changing weather conditions of the desert climate.
“It’s an enormous piece of the puzzle for all of our student athletes, our athletic program, an investment in a facility like this that can service so many," said Athletic Director Dave Heeke.
University of Arizona supporters Cole and Jeannie Davis committed $8 million towards the construction of the facility. Their giving to the University of Arizona has reached a total of $18 million.
"It’s also a key element to our football program. Having an indoor practice facility connected to our outdoor, right here in the footprint. The investment in our football program is critically important for success in the future.”
Heeke said the football team had ten practices impacted during monsoon last fall. He said student-athletes would be stuck waiting around for hours for practice to start.
The facility includes an indoor field, support space for a weight room, training room and video, and bay door access to two practice fields. Heeke said the turf is the same system used for the field across the street.
This center is part of the Arizona Athletics Capital Campaign of $66 million for five projects, including: Arizona Stadium East Side renovations, Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Softball Stadium and additional McKale Center locker room renovations.
“Facilities and investments, just like anything, whether it’s a company or the university in general, investing in what young people want and aspire to be great," said Heeke. "Athletes want to see tremendous facilities in investment and commitment. Our football program is at an upward trajectory and couldn’t be more excited about that.”
The facility won’t just be used by student-athletes. During football season, the athletics department plans to use the center as a key hospitality and fan experience area on gamedays.
Heeke said nearly 90% of the work done at the sports center was by local contractors.