Fundraising Campaign Launches for 60,000-Square-Foot Facility for Men’s, Women’s Teams
At a news conference yesterday, coaches Mark Turgeon and Brenda Freese (below) expressed excitement about the newly announced plans for the Basketball Performance Center, which will be built adjacent to the Xfinity Center.
Maryland Athletics yesterday announced a fundraising campaign to build a basketball practice facility for its men’s and women’s teams.
The $36 million Basketball Performance Center will be located adjacent to the Xfinity Center and will feature two full-size practice courts, a strength and conditioning facility, locker rooms, lounges, sports medicine facilities and office space.
“Maryland basketball has a storied tradition, and today we are proud to add to that rich tradition,” Athletic Director Damon Evans said at a news conference. “(This facility) will usher in a new era of success for basketball.”
The project will be co-managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and supported by donors and other Athletics revenues. The athletic department has already raised $19 million toward the building, with longtime Maryland basketball supporter Harvey Sanders ’72 helping to drive the effort.
Construction on the 60,000-square-foot facility is expected to take about 36 months once fully funded.
UMD is the only Big Ten Conference school without a dedicated practice facility for both its men’s and women’s teams. Maryland’s coaches hope the new center will alleviate scheduling conflicts at the main court at Xfinity Center, as well as help give Maryland a competitive edge in the recruiting process.
“With both programs, we’ve been able to attract the best players in the country year in and year out,” women’s Head Coach Brenda Freese said. “So now, to be able to layer that with one of the best practice facilities … very, very exciting day.”
The men’s team has been ranked in the top 10 of nearly every national preseason poll, while the women’s team is ranked No. 5 in the ESPNW and NCAA preseason polls.
Moving the men’s and women’s basketball teams to their new home will free up additional space for and allow the expansion of some of Maryland’s Olympic sports, such as wrestling, gymnastics and softball, Evans said. It will also allow the Xfinity Center to accommodate more events and shows for the UMD community.
“We can have concerts, and it doesn’t affect Brenda and I one bit because we have a place to go,” men’s Head Coach Mark Turgeon said. “So I think it’s a win for everybody.”
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