For the past decade, the University of Miami has always been on the move when it comes to home games after the Orange Bowl was shut down ten years ago. However, when it comes to the football team’s preparation before stepping on to any game field that they’re given (this time Hard Rock Stadium), the Hurricanes have always been able to practice outdoors. Fortunately, that will be changing very soon with the Carol Soffer Indoor Facility is almost finished for use in the 2018 season.
According to the Miami Herald, Hurricanes Senior Associate Athletic Director Jesse Marks stated that the new facility’s first phase would be completed in August in order for the football team to practice in bad weather. “Currently, we are laying artificial turf onto the field and making last-minute items to prepare the building’s opening,” Marks tells the publication, “we’ve hit the initial fundraising goal. However, we are continuing the fundraising campaign for additional enhancements to the building’s branding and design to make it truly first class and in line with Coach Richt’s vision.” The new practice facility has been in the works since as early as 2016, with a whopping goal of $34 million to pay for the building and its essentials like air conditioning, electric and water. But the most important part has to be the amount of space the team will have to run practices when the weather is crazy outside, especially since camp is around the time of hurricane season in this sunny city. The new facility is reported to be around 83,000 square feet, which includes two fields, offices, and meeting rooms. Along with the new building, the football operations area is also trying to remodel over 30,000 square feet separately.
Now you may be asking, why does this matter to the Hurricane’s football team? Well, school facilities are a major factor for recruits who are making a decision about the D-1 school you want to play with. Having facilities like the new Carol Soffer building would not only help the current players working on their craft for Saturdays, but would also bring a feeling of playing pro to the young players who may want to commit. What this means is that this could be another factor that brings great talent to Miami instead of any of other national Top 25 schools as well as programs within the state of Florida. Also, head coach Mark Richt spoke of the difficulties of running practice on their current practice field, stating that the could be sometimes stringent with players’ time balancing classes and social life. So, with all of these benefits being added to the Carol Soffer football facility, there’s a really good chance that this is yet another factor in contributing to Miami’s success in 2018 and beyond.