The Daily Nole

FSU Announces Plans, Budget for New Football Facility and Sports Upgrades

The long-rumored upgrade to Florida State football facilities was confirmed on Sunday night. The Seminole Boosters and FSU athletics announced a new football-only facility with a $60 million price tag, dedicated to putting the Seminoles in an elite group of programs with state-of-the-art operations.

Football will not be the only sport benefiting from changes, as each of golf, baseball, and basketball will receive funding for new projects. The upgrades are part of the Unconquered Campaigndedicated to fundraising the $100 million needed for the venture.

FSU President John Thrasher issued a statement saying, “The Seminole Boosters and Athletics have developed a solid plan with ambitious goals to address the needs of a number of our programs…We have a history at Florida State of being extremely efficient in our operations across the board, and this campaign reflects that same focus.  We will support this campaign in every way possible.”

According to the school, new features will include:

  • Stand-alone facility for Seminole football that will be built adjacent to the Dunlap Athletic Training Complex
  • $9 million in Student-Athlete Scholarship Endowments
  • An $8 million redesign of the Don Veller Seminole Golf Course into a Nicklaus Legacy Course by the Jack Nicklaus Group
  • $8 million for the redevelopment of the Moore Athletic Center, to include expanded student-athlete dining, training and strength access, and additional academic space
  • Improvements to the infrastructure and fan experience at Dick Howser Stadium. This includes permanent left field bleacher seating, new field lighting, updated team strength and conditioning facilities, and a new team building. ($6 million)
  • $5 million commitment in support of women’s athletics in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at FSU
  • The continuation of renovations at the Donald L. Tucker Center for men’s and women’s basketball that will include new team lounges for both programs

Most of the current football structures are in the Moore Center inside Doak Campbell Stadium, which is split between the athletics part and regular classrooms for non-athletes. The football-only facility signifies the end result of a current trend to isolate football to its own structure.

The structure will include a new locker room, new training and hydrotherapy areas, a weight room connected to the indoor practice facility, larger meeting rooms, and a recruiting lounge.

Facilities became a wedge issue between previous head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Seminole Boosters, with the ultimate result being the departure of the former. Whether or not they were the root of the problem became secondary to the ultimate question of what FSU could expect in the coming years. Multiple high-profile programs (including Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, and others) have built their own football-only facilities or are in the middle of doing so. New football coach Willie Taggart stated early on that they would be pushing for one, and he got his wish fairly quickly.

Taggart and his wife will also be making a $1 million donation to begin the campaign.

Perhaps more intriguing are the upgrades to the baseball program. A $6 million expected cost is largely small change in the grand scheme of college athletics, but some of the slated projects indicate a growing commitment to improvements. More specifically, the new team building and strength and conditioning areas might be the start of significant developments. Whoever the next head coach is will have the pieces to work with.

It’s also encouraging to see a confirmation on the continuing upgrades to the basketball facilities. Both teams have been very successful in recent years and deserve more commitment from the administration. That appears to be happening as we speak.

The bulk of the cost will be the $60 million for football, but the other $40 million is a substantial boost to the other programs. Even if a team isn’t receiving a direct upgrade, the changes in the Moore Center and $5 million dedicated to women’s athletics will be a welcome gift.

Florida State’s campaign expects to be completed around 2023.

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