Two days short of one year since the groundbreaking occurred, official dedication of the University of Georgia Indoor Athletic Facility was held Tuesday inside the 102,306-square-foot structure.
Participants in the ceremony included UGA President Jere W. Morehead, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity, head football coach Kirby Smart, and track and field Olympian and three-time national champion Keturah Orji.
“The Indoor Athletic Facility is a testament to the tremendous loyalty, passion and excitement that our alumni and friends feel for Georgia athletics,” Morehead said. “Working together, we are fulfilling our commitment to provide our student-athletes with the tools and resources they need to succeed at the highest levels.”
The $30.2 million project was completely funded by private gifts and includes a 100-yard football practice field, 65-meter track runway and jumping pits, and a netting system that will provide indoor practice areas for other teams during inclement weather.
“This is a wonderful day of celebration for our entire athletic program,” McGarity said. “This new indoor facility will provide a first-class, state-of-the-art practice environment that will benefit our sports and student-athletes for decades to come. We are grateful to the members of the Magill Society for helping make this facility become a reality.”
The new facility is connected to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall and stretches north and south along the western side of Rutherford Street. Full dimensions of the football practice field are 140 yards long and 80 yards wide. The Woodruff practice field complex will now include the new indoor facility with artificial turf, two natural grass football practice fields, and an outdoor artificial turf multi-purpose area.
“We are all grateful and appreciative of the many donors who stepped up and provided the entire funding for this facility,” said UGA head football coach Kirby Smart. “This new indoor facility is a remarkable addition to our overall football footprint. It opens many new doors for the opportunities our student-athletes will have to practice not only in adverse weather conditions but also provides a first-class working environment for parts of our strength and conditioning and nutrition programs.”
During construction, the football team practiced at a location off South Milledge Avenue near the UGA soccer-softball complex. For the past year the football team has used a temporary practice area that is part of the UGA Club Sports Complex. On that location, the Athletic Association constructed two new full-length natural grass fields and one full-length artificial turf field, which will now be returned to the UGA Club Sports program.