The Buffs football team has an uphill road to climb. After joining the Pac-12 in the 2011 season the Buffs were 1-8 last season in their conference, their lone win being against the 0-9 Cal team. With a record like that, the recruitment process becomes more important than ever. This week CU announced the groundbreaking of a $143 million expansion to their athletic facility.
The expansion by all accounts is long overdue. Former Buffs Quarterback, now a member of the Buffs football staff, Darian Hagen, told CUBuffs.com:
“It was being talked about when I was in school (in the late 1980s/early ‘90s). To finally have it at age 43 is awesome . . . at least they didn’t lie. It just took a while.”
The Denver Post reports the expansion will include the following:
• A 120,000-square-foot, indoor facility that will include a 100-yard artificial-turf football field and a six-lane, 300-meter track.
• Redesigning and transforming the 23-year-old Dal Ward Athletic Center to include an Olympic medicine and sports strength training areas, upgraded locker and equipment rooms, a leadership development center and an academic support center.
• End-zone club seating and loge boxes outside the Dal Ward Center.
• Adding a 21,900-square-foot, high-performance sports center on the northeast corner of the football stadium that also will be available to the public. The facility also will include a rooftop terrace. The terrace will be used for recruiting functions and can be leased for private functions such as weddings and graduation parties.
• Converting south offices at Folsom Field to retail space.
One potential wrinkle to the expansion is that initial fundraising for this project has had a slow start. The Daily Camera reported that construction wasn’t supposed to start until the project had raised $50 million, but the Board of Regents approved the groundbreaking going forward even though they were slightly short of that goal.
CU is counting on the now visible construction sparking excitement in the community, which will hopefully lead to more fundraising success. Certainly Buffs football fans are in need of something to be excited about. Hopefully this expansion, which is scheduled to be completed Fall 2015, will lead to more success in the recruiting process and more success in the Pac-12 conference.