Arizona State University has formed of an 11-person committee designed to evaluate options to build new athletic facilities and upgrade existing ones.
Though the committee will address long-range needs for all 22 of ASU’s varsity sports, its immediate focus will likely be on improvements to Sun Devil Stadium and construction of a basketball practice gym and field house that would also serve as an indoor football practice facility.
Two weeks ago, the school launched the Sun Devil Legacy Campaign, which has already raised $13.5 million in pledged gifts.
“Our motivation, with all these projects going on and money being raised, is to call a timeout and form an umbrella group,” said Virgil Renzulli, ASU vice president for public affairs and committee member. “There are a lot of things we can do. Our job is to prioritize the choices and, of course, figure out how to pay for them.”
Other committee members include Lisa Love, athletic director; Elizabeth Capaldi, ASU executive vice president and provost; Christine Wilkinson, senior vice president and former interim AD, and Johnnie Ray, ASU Foundation CEO and president.
The committee’s formation, announced on Wednesday, is another step in ASU’s Comprehensive Development Plan designed to evaluate and improve all campus facilities. The price tag for improvements school-wide over the next 20 to 30 years is estimated at $3.4 billion.
Among the expected athletic expenditures are $52 million to $150 million for improvements to 49-year-old Sun Devil Stadium, and at least $20 million and $25 million, respectively, for basketball and football practice facilities.
In the last five years, Renzulli said, ASU has spent $136 million to build and renovate its athletic physical plant.
Of the money the Legacy Campaign has raised, $7.8 million is earmarked for the basketball practice facility, $5.4 million for the field house/football facility and $250,000 to upgrade Packard Stadium.
Renzulli said that the school is exploring additional fund-raising and revenue-creating options, including staging, along with the City of Tempe, more events in Sun Devil Stadium. The extent of the city’s partnership, including contributing to facility upgrades, has yet to be discussed.
“That’s up in the air right now,” Renzulli said. “But we’re both on each other’s agendas, and there will be some dialogue there.”
ASU is taking bids on design and construction of the basketball facility, which is slated to open in 2008-09 on the band practice field, at Sixth Street and Rural Road. The field house/football facility, expected to be located next to the basketball facility, remains in the planning stages.