Gifts at Work

By Carol Olechowski

“A Great Day for Great Danes Athletics”

The new multi-sport complex on UAlbany's uptown campus
By the end of 2013, Great Danes football, soccer, and track and field will have a new home: a multi-sport complex located on the uptown campus.

Plans for the $24 million, 6,000-seat complex were announced at a news conference Feb. 15. “It’s a great day for Great Danes athletics,” said University at Albany President George Philip, B.A.’69, M.A.’73. “Thanks to overwhelming public and private support, we are moving forward with a project that will upgrade our athletic facilities’ football, soccer, and track-and-field competition to the standard that our successful Division I program merits.”

The project, to be completed in three stages, will be supported by $18 million in New York State capital funding already earmarked for construction. The remaining $6 million is being raised through private donations from alumni, friends and other UAlbany benefactors.

An anonymous donor has also offered a $1 million challenge grant. That individual will match each contribution made, up to a maximum of $1 million.

To date, contributions and pledges totaling more than $2 million have been designated for the project.

Original plans for a 10,000-seat venue were scaled back in recent years in response to the sluggish economy. However, the potential for expanding the complex to 24,000 seats by adding private suites does exist.

Current plans include accommodations for hospitality booths, concessions, a press box and several suites.

While the complex will upgrade UAlbany’s Division I facilities, it will also “provide year-round use for student recreation, intramural and club sports activities,” Philip noted. Its availability to community organizations, Vice President for Athletic Administration Lee A. McElroy Jr. observed, “will not only make our University better [but] make our community better.” UAlbany Head Football Coach Bob Ford cited the facility’s benefits as a recruiting tool that will enable the University to “continue to attract great students and great faculty.”

Once the contract is awarded, construction will begin; tentative dates for the groundbreaking are being discussed. The complex will be built on existing athletic fields along the southern side
of the campus.

To support UAlbany’s multi-sport complex, please contact Paul Norcross at (518) 937-7158 or pnorcross@albany.edu.

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