Baylor Press Release:
WACO, Texas – Baylor University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades announced Tuesday a significant lead gift toward the construction of a new basketball facility, one of the signature projects in the Athletics Master Plan portion of the university’s $1.1 billion Give Light campaign.
This news follows the recent announcement of the largest current gift in university history – $100 million provided by a generous anonymous donor in support of the university-wide Give Light campaign. A portion of this transformational gift will create a pathway to bring a new fieldhouse-concept, currently called the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, to fruition.
“Today is an exciting day for Baylor Athletics. We are incredibly grateful to this Baylor Family, their vision and their generosity in enabling this incredible concept to come to life on our campus,” Rhoades said. “This marks a tremendous step forward in our effort to create the nation’s best home-court advantage for each of our 19 intercollegiate sport programs.”
With a lead gift in place, Baylor Athletics is now in a position to secure additional funding and approvals needed to move forward with a formal plan for design and construction. A location is secured, and the pavilion will be built on the south side of the Brazos River between Baylor Ballpark and the Ferrell Center. With a projected capacity of 7,000-7,500, the fieldhouse has an estimated cost of $105 million.
The pavilion will also include a new integrated state of the art practice facility, to include separate locker rooms, practice gyms, team lounges, and office suites – as well as shared athletic medicine and athletic performance spaces.
Once completed, both men’s and women’s basketball will move into the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, allowing the Ferrell Center to undergo significant improvements to meet the practice and competition needs of Baylor’s highly competitive volleyball and acrobatics and tumbling programs.
“This gift is symbolic of our united effort to raise the bar across all of our sports,” Rhoades said. “While the Ferrell Center has been home to our men and women’s basketball programs for over 30 years, this project will now create additional opportunities beyond basketball. With volleyball and acrobatics and tumbling taking over the Ferrell Center, they too gain a remarkable competitive advantage for their respective sports.
What the coaches are saying:
Felecia Mulkey, Head Acrobatics and Tumbling Coach:
“It will mean a great deal for our program to be housed in the Ferrell Center. We have enjoyed our time in historic Marrs McLean Gym but look forward to a new space for us to continue to Prepare Champions for Life. The Ferrell Center will give us the space to develop our student-athletes into champions at the highest level while giving them the best student-athlete experience in the country.”
Kim Mulkey, Head Lady Bears Basketball Coach:
“We are grateful to Baylor for its continued commitment to our basketball program. The Ferrell Center has housed some great moments in Lady Bear history and we look forward to creating new memories in our new arena. Thanks to the generosity of our donors who have made it possible to continue to build the country’s best home-court advantage.”
Ryan McGuyre, Head Volleyball Coach:
“Expanding opportunities for acrobatics and tumbling and volleyball in the Ferrell Center will enhance the holistic experience for our student-athletes. This facility will lessen scheduling conflicts due to facility availability, allowing for greater flexibility in practice schedules. Facilities are an important part of the college athletic experience – they help shape our program and better equip us to recruit high-level players to Baylor.”
Scott Drew, Head Basketball Coach:
“This is a game-changer for our program. There’s nothing more impactful than a new arena, especially one that brings our fans closer to the action. The Baylor Basketball Pavilion will be an incredible environment and will create a tremendous home-court advantage to help us compete for Big 12 championships. The Baylor Basketball family is so grateful for these generous donors who stepped forward to provide this lead gift.”