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Miami Hurricanes Football: Groundbreaking for Carol Soffer Practice Facility held Thursday

The dream of an indoor practice facility is moving towards becoming a reality.

Shovels in dirt at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Carol Soffer Football Practice Facility on Thursday evening.
JC Ridley / Miami Athletics

On Thursday evening, Miami Hurricanes athletics held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the previously-announced Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility. Here is the previous piece on this wonderful facility from its announcement:

The plans to build this state of the art facility continued to move forward with today’s groundbreaking. For more, here is the press release from UM athletics;

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami held its official groundbreaking ceremony for the Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility Thursday at the future site of the building on the Greentree Practice Fields.

University of Miami President Julio Frenk, Director of Athletics Blake James, head football coach Mark Richt, Mayor of Coral Gables Raúl Valdés-Fauli and Carol Soffer, the namesake of the building, were among those who took part in the ceremony, which marked a major milestone in the project, expected to open in fall of 2018.

To date, just over $32 million of the $34 million needed for construction has been raised through the generosity of Hurricane supporters across the nation.

The Soffer Family's lead commitment of $14 million, the largest gift in University of Miami Athletics history, was announced in September 2016.

”The Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility will go a long way towards strengthening our commitment to building champions,” James said. “We are thrilled and humbled that so many Hurricanes alumni, fans and former players – and especially the Soffer Family -- have stepped forward to help fund this ambitious project.”

The 81,800-square-foot facility will feature two field-turf fields – one 80 yards long, and an additional 40-yard field directly connecting to the Squillante Strength and Conditioning Center. The facility will feature interconnectivity to the Hecht Athletic Center.

“The Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility will help support and strengthen our student-athletes' ability to perform and compete at the highest levels,” said UM President Julio Frenk. “Hurricane Athletics' quest of ‘Building Champions' complements the University's ‘Roadmap to our New Century' and enhances our commitment to overall excellence.”

Soffer is a lifelong champion of the University of Miami football program and athletics department, and an active member of the University community. Originally from Chicago, Soffer has been a Golden Cane Society donor for over 20 years and supported many Miami Athletics initiatives, most recently the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence project.

”The indoor practice facility is a major step forward for the University of Miami,” Soffer said. “It's not only important for the football program but also for the athletic department as a whole. It's going to be an amazing, state-of-the-art facility and I am proud and honored to have my name on the building.”

Head coach Mark Richt at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
JC Ridley / Miami Athletics

This marks another positive step for Miami Hurricanes athletics. This facility will fill a need for the Canes, and continue to improve both the athletic facilities at Miami, and the Coral Gables campus as a whole.

Here are a couple other recaps of this event from local beat writers:

Another great day to be a Miami Hurricane, guys!

And, if you’re wondering when ACTUAL groundbreaking is (not ceremonial, like today), construction on the Carol Soffer Football Practice Facility begins on Miami’s Coral Gables campus on Monday.

Go Canes