Groundbreaking Ceremony For UMass Football Performance Center & Basketball Champions Center Set For Friday, April 26

April 2, 2013

AMHERST, Mass. - The official groundbreaking ceremonies for the UMass Football Performance Center and the Basketball Champions Center will take place on Friday, April 26 in conjunction with the University's 150th Anniversary Alumni Weekend festivities. The events are open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans.

The day will begin with the ceremony for the Football Performance Center starting at 10 AM at McGuirk Stadium. A luncheon will then be held for invited guests at the Mullins Center at 11:45 AM. At 1:30 PM, the ceremony for the Champions Center will take place on the Boyden Practice Field on the South side of the Mullins Center (directly across from the Campus Recreation Center).

Groundbreaking Ceremony Schedule:
10:00-11:30 AM - Groundbreaking Ceremony At McGuirk Stadium
11:45-1:15 PM - Luncheon For Invited Guests At Mullins Center (transportation provided)
1:30-3:00 PM - Groundbreaking Ceremony For The Champions Center
For more info, contact Athletic Development at 413-545-1265

In addition to the Football Performance Center, a new Press Box is also part of the $34.5 million upgrade project at McGuirk Stadium. The Performance Center is a 55,000 square foot complex which will include coaches offices, a new locker room space, meeting rooms, athletic training facilities and a dedicated strength and conditioning facility. The Press Box measures 5,800 square feet and will be designed to accommodate a range of media with a primary focus on television production accessibility.

The Champions Center will give both the men's and women's basketball programs a dedicated practice and training facility. At $28.5 million, it will be a 53,000 square foot complex that will be the new home for the UMass basketball programs daily operations and will house locker room space, athletic training facilities and strength and conditioning facilities along with meeting and office space. The facility will also be used for campus events such as intramural basketball championships.

Both projects are slated to be online and ready for use in Summer/Fall 2014 and represent what has been a major facility enhancement effort for athletics over the last decade.

Construction is currently underway for a new Rowing Boathouse located adjacent to the Connecticut River giving the program its first-ever dedicated training space.

These all fall in the footsteps of several other recent facilities and enhancements. The Campus Recreation Center opened in Fall 2009 and the $50 million, 120,000 square foot facility quickly became one of the most popular destinations on campus. This past Fall, it was named a 2012 Facility of Merit Award Winner by Athletics Business Magazine.

The Performance Center and Champions Center will be the first new athletic facilities since the construction of the UMass Track & Field Complex in October 2005 - widely regarded as one of the top facilities in New England. Other enhancements at UMass include the previous work at McGuirk Stadium (field turf installation, permanent lights, video board); new grandstands and press box for Garber Field; new grandstands at the UMass Softball Complex; a new backstop, new halo, and upgraded dugouts at Earl Lorden Field; and the endzone video boards in the Mullins Center.

Those interested in making donations to either project or to other fundraising efforts are encouraged to contact the Minutemen Club office at 413-545-9652.

Details On Football Performance Center/Press Box:
The state-of-the-art Football Performance Center will mark the first-ever dedicated facility housing all support elements for the UMass football program. The two-level complex will greet visitors with a foyer displaying proud moments in the program's history while providing a dynamic vision of the future. Office space, meeting rooms, a multi-purpose/formal event space and a terrace overlooking the field will highlight the upper level. The lower level will house the locker room, equipment room, strength and conditioning space and the athletic training room. The Press Box will contain dedicated booths for media, television, radio and instant replay along with game operations. The project designer/architect is Perkins & Will, Inc., while the contractor is Consigli Construction Co., Inc. For more information on the project along with information on the sustainable design efforts, visit the UMass Facility Planning website at

Details On Champions Center:
The Champions Center will be located South of the Mullins Center across from the UMass Recreation Center and Commonwealth College Complex. It will be connected to the Mullins Center by an enclosed linking corridor allowing immediate access between the two buildings. The Champions Center will also feature a Legacy Hall dedicated to the history of the basketball programs along with an eye to the future. The project designer/architect is JCJ Architecture, while the contractor will be the Whiting Turner Contracting Company. For more information on the project along with information on the sustainable design efforts, visit the UMass Facility Planning website at



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