Orange Watch: Syracuse football indoor practice venue is coming

The new practice facility is coming

Item: Expect the press conference this week to announce the long talked-about indoor practice facility for the Orange football team. 

He may have originally thought that the ground would be broken with Doug Marrone as his football coach, but Daryl Gross will be a happy man none-the-less with Scott Shafer running the ship when the ground is expected to be broken in early spring on a missing link for his football program about to embark in ACC play.

The new practice facility is coming

It’s the much-discussed indoor football piece to the puzzle that Marrone deemed mandatory during his four-year stay, which not only frees up having to make practice trips over to the Dome when inclement weather strikes, but turns the field at Manley Field House over to the other men’s and women’s teams to share with one less tenant.

» Related: Don’t expect final football schedule for a few weeks

While the specific details are to be announced at the university press conference, sources have told The Juice Online that besides a full 120-yard field with a small area for spectators, video camera crews, and minimal office space, it is also expected to have some sort of connectivity to the existing Iocolano-Petty football wing near the original Coyne Field.

In 2011, the Brooklyn-based Bernheimer Architecture released design blueprints and building renderings for a project titled “Syracuse University Football Training Facility,” indicating that the indoor practice field was part of a “larger strategic masterplan (sic) for the Lampe Athletic Complex.”

Bernheimer described the indoor practice facility building this way:

“For the football practice facility, we designed the building to create an environment that would enhance the practice session.  Composed as a highly regulated and repetitive structure, all systems throughout the facility are deployed in the service of order and conceived to reinforce a sense of regularity and consistency.

Column bays and light queen post trusses occur every ten yards, in alignment with the field landmarks.  Translucent wall panels provide a well-lit neutral background and daylighting (sic) to minimize energy use.   The base of the building is formed from precast concrete panels that are cast with patterned dimples of embedded footballs.”

Translated from architectural-speak, it sounds like it’s going to look something like this rendering, but again, the building specifics are to be announced.

What’s clear is that as opposed to a “masterplan” for the Lampe Athletic Complex, the athletic department has been able to win over the university administration and board of trustees to be in unison on the essential need to at least go ahead with building the indoor practice field now, as the team under rookie head coach Shafer gets ready to compete on and off (recruiting) the field with the other ACC programs that have that indoor facility as part of their pitch to a highly coveted, impressionable prospect.

As to the financing of an estimated $15-20M structure, we’re told the athletic department is taking on the funding buoyed by the bump in annual ACC revenue sharing and backed-up by the administration and board, while simultaniously launching a vigorous fundraising campaign.

A final game bowl victory, a new coach and staff, a new league, and new facilities on the way.  There’s a lot to like about the direction of ‘Cuse football.

» Related: ACC has early title contenders

Item: Unless Syracuse hosts Western Kentucky, the final football home game opponent is going to be a FCS member.

It’s simple math.  According to there’s simply no other Bowl Subdivision team that needs a 2013 game on its schedule besides Western Kentucky.  New Mexico State and Louisiana-Lafayette were the other two FBS teams that needed games, and they scheduled each other.

As we wrote two weeks ago, Syracuse was waiting on the release of the ACC schedule, expected anytime now, to see if it had an open date on Sept. 14 to fill with a Dome game after the season opener at MetLife Stadium against Penn State followed by a trip to Northwestern, and we speculated that the Orange would likely be left standing with a FCS opponent. also reports that the Syracuse non-conference opening and the date of Duke’s non-league meeting with Troy are the only games holding up release of the entire ACC schedule.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.