With its 100th anniversary of football approaching in 2022, Tennessee Tech has announced plans for the construction of a new state-of-the-art Football Operations Center. The 40,000-square-foot facility is phase one of a two-phase process to significantly upgrade and enhance the football program. "Tennessee Tech has a tradition of winning championships in football, but those date back a number of years," said Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham. "This new Football Operations Center will go a long way in helping build a program that consistently competes for and wins championships."
The new facility will be located next to the current Athletics Performance Center, across the street from the Hooper Eblen Center. It will feature a contemporary team locker room, a theater-style team meeting room as well as individual meeting rooms for specific position groups, and coaches’ offices. Its Football Academic Success Center includes a computer lab, and the entire facility will be built with an emphasis on technology. The center will also serve as the primary sports medicine and athletics training facility for all 14 Tech athletic teams. There will also be a full-length outdoor lighted practice field.
“Recruiting is tremendously important to a successful program,” said Tech head football coach Dewayne Alexander. “Building this first-class Football Operations Center will show prospective student-athletes and their families how committed we are to them and to winning. It will give us a wonderful opportunity to attract top talent to the Golden Eagle football program and to develop them to their full potential once we get them here.”
The estimated cost to build the Football Operations Center is $15 million. State funds cannot be used for this type of athletic facility, so it will be funded entirely through private donations and support from alumni, friends and members of the local business community. A portion of the funds needed has already been raised. In December, President Oldham will seek approval from the Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees for phase two, a complete renovation of the west side of Tucker Stadium. “Tucker Stadium has meant so much not just to Tech but to the Upper Cumberland community for decades,” said Oldham. “This will provide our fans, families, friends and business owners in our area a truly exciting and affordable entertainment experience.”
Plans call for a completely new west side of the stadium featuring all premium seating, suites and club level seats, a club level hospitality room, a new home team dressing room and a new entryway event plaza. Total capacity for the stadium will be 12,000. The estimated cost of the stadium project is $30 million. Funding would come through state bonds with revenue generated by premium seat sales, along with university funds, corporate sponsorships and private gifts.
Oldham says a winning football program impacts so much more than just athletics. “There is nothing like what winning does for not only the campus but the entire community,” says Oldham. “It builds pride and enhances the experience for student-athletes, students, fans and alumni. It creates media attention. It raises awareness of the institution and gains interest from even more prospective students. It helps expand the local economy. When Tech football wins, our entire community wins.”
For more information, visit www.tntech.edu/foc