Featured Photo by Brian Branch
Story by Noah McLane
Middle Tennessee State University broke ground on the athletic department’s new $66 million dollar student-athlete performance center outside Floyd Stadium Thursday, Jan. 26 as part of a larger plan to rejuvenate athletic facilities across campus.
The three-story, 85,000 square foot building, built on the current site of weight and gameday rooms, will be the new home of Blue Raider football and will be packed with amenities for all of MTSU’s student athletes.
“Once completed, this new facility, along with an enhanced Murphy Center, will be part of a new gateway into our campus and will stand as a visible reminder of our commitment to athletic success,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said.
McPhee was joined on Thursday by Board of Trustees Chair Stephen B. Smith, director of athletics Chris Massaro, head football coach Rick Stockstill, women’s golf coach Chris Adams, the MTSU softball team and student-athletes and fans from the MTSU community.
“The student-athlete performance center is transformational for our department, the university and for our community,” Massaro said. “We will be able to better develop our players, attract top notch recruits and make our student-athlete experience second to none.”
“It’s an exciting day,” Stockstill said. “I’m so happy for our players. I’m so happy for our future players. This new center will help Middle Tennessee Football compete at the highest level on the field. With the upgraded facilities, so many new doors will be opened for the Blue Raiders to continue to build off of the legacy of our past players and coaches.”
The official groundbreaking took place after remarks with golden shovels held by cold, but excited donors, coaches, and staff just outside of Floyd stadium.
Design of the facility has already begun, and construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2024 Blue Raider football season. The performance center’s construction is the first of a three-phase, $100 million dollar plan to transform MTSU’s athletic department.
Once built, the Tommy and Judy Smith lobby will greet visitors. The first floor will be home to a nutrition station, a strength and conditioning room and a state-of-the-art athletic training room.
The second floor will provide meeting rooms for coaches and position groups of the football team. And the third floor will feature a large dining venue for student athletes.
On gameday, this space will be dedicated to premium opportunities for fans. Department. funding for the performance center was 100 percent provided through university donors, alumni, fans, and students.
Noah McLane is a news report for MTSU Sidelines.