December 3, 2023

Virginia Joins The College Facilities Arms Race


The University of Virginia is the latest Division I athletics program to get a facilities upgrade after a huge donation from an influential donor.

Ramon W. Breeden Jr. — a 1956 graduate of UVA’s business school and a Virginia Beach real estate developer — donated $50 million to be used evenly between the Virginia Athletics Master Plan and the McIntyre School of Commerce’s expansion; the McIntyre project received an additional $25 million in matching funds, bringing the total impact to $75 million.

With the $25 million at its disposal, the UVA athletic department plans to make upgrades to its facilities for both football and Olympic sports.

Phase I of the Virginia Athletics Master Plan is already complete, as the school recently constructed two natural grass football fields.

For Phase II, the university is building an entirely new 90,000-square-foot Football Operations Center; the team has been housed in the campus’ McCue Center since 1991. The new facility broke ground in June 2022 and is scheduled for completion in spring 2024.

Phase III includes a renovation to the McCue Center and the creation of the Olympic Sports Complex. UVA’s field hockey, cross country, track and field, lacrosse, rowing, and soccer programs will get new locker rooms, and the university will also open the Center for Citizen Leaders and Sports Ethics. The phase will be tentatively completed in 2025.

Virginia joins a facilities arms race across Division I athletics that currently includes Penn State, Florida, Tennessee, Kansas, and Oregon State.

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