The Watson Tate Savory designed Indoor Football Practice facility opened last night to the media and tonight, USC will have the Grand Opening.  The 14 Million, 110,000 square foot facility houses a full size football field and structure clearance of 75 feet, which will allow the Gamecocks to practice kickoffs inside the facility.  The project is pursuing the US Green Building Council’s LEED silver designation and among many sustainable features, is designed to save energy and use less water.  Additional features of the building include a perimeter catwalk for filming with multiple platforms, and an exterior balcony overlooking Gamecock Park towards William’s Brice Stadium and a training room.

 

Excerpt from “The State newspaper:


 

As he stood beneath the towering, angled ceiling, South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner seemed to bounce between excitement and pride.

He did say professional scouts that came through earlier in the year called it one of the more impressive facilities they’d seen. But he grew more animated when describing the response of those who will use it most: the players.
“I can remember back at the very beginning, when fall practice started for our football team and they got in here for the first time.” Tanner said. “Its impact. It’s not just a place to go, it has the kind of impact that talks about the commitment. You can say all those words, but then you show it.”


 

This Video appeared on The State newpaper’s website:

 

The full article from The State follows:

As he stood beneath the towering, angled ceiling, South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner seemed to bounce between excitement and pride.

He spoke Thursday night in the football team’s new indoor practice facility, a $14.3 million project years in the making. The team has used it in spots since the summer, but Thursday was the first time media viewed it, and Friday it will host a grand opening invite-only event.

Tanner made a point to say what it means for the program.

“It’s very important, but I think it’s important on two fronts,” Tanner said. “It’s important from a practical standpoint for your teams to have an opportunity for us now, with two practice fields right out that door here, if there’s an inclement weather issue, they can come in.

“And certainly from a recruiting standpoint, it shows the kind of commitment and dedication you have for your football program.”

Indoor facilities are fairly common across college football, though a smattering of schools still don’t have them. Georgia has plans for one, while North Carolina approved one days ago. The project was scheduled to be completed Aug. 1, and Tanner said the timing of the events this week had to do with getting a certificate of occupancy.

The work still isn’t complete, and he noted large graphics will be added along the now-bare walls around the full-size field. The field is named for Ken Wheat and the 1969 South Carolina team he played on that won an ACC title. Wheat and his wife helped fund the project.

Tanner wouldn’t confirm a report the building will be named after former coach Steve Spurrier. He did say professional scouts that came through earlier in the year called it one of the more impressive facilities they’d seen. But he grew more animated when describing the response of those who will use it most: the players.

“I can remember back at the very beginning, when fall practice started for our football team and they got in here for the first time.” Tanner said. “Its impact. It’s not just a place to go, it has the kind of impact that talks about the commitment. You can say all those words, but then you show it.”