The University of Maryland plans to launch a campaign to raise tens of millions of dollars to build an indoor practice facility that it believes it needs to compete successfully in the Big Ten in football.
“We are planning on a major capital campaign,” university president Wallace Loh said in an interview. “All the Big Ten institutions have indoor facilities — of course, obviously because of the weather. But we need it, too. I think that’s what it’s going to take to recruit even better student athletes, not just for football but for other teams as well.”
The cost of such a facility is estimated in the range of $50 million to $80 million.
While the facility could have many uses, the football team would likely benefit most.
Maryland will leave the Atlantic Coast Conference and join the Big Ten in July 2014.
Some Terps football supporters had hoped that the projected financial windfall from joining the Big Ten would be used for an indoor facility.
In a report released Tuesday, a university commission recommended this week that Big Ten money not be used.
“I can see why,” Loh said. “It’s one thing to give out more scholarships and so forth and hire a few more academic advisers. That may be a few million dollars. Once you’re talking about an indoor facility, you’re looking at between $50 million to $80 million.”
Athletic director Kevin Anderson said he was confident enough money would be contributed to build the facility.
“I have no question that we can do this raising private funds. It’s very significant for our program moving into the Big Ten,” Anderson said.
Asked about a timetable, Anderson replied: “I’d like to have it done yesterday. I see this project happening in the very near future.”
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