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Texas Tech to Add New Indoor Sport Center

2 Dec, 2015

By: Tracey Schelmetic

Lubbock, Texas-based Texas Tech University and some of its famed Red Raiders and Lady Raiders sports teams are about to get a new home.

 In early November, Texas Tech officials held a press conference to announce to the public final concept plans for the school’s planned 159,000 square foot Sports Performance Center, a building that will house a 200-meter indoor, banked track with seating for more than 2,000 spectators. The facility will also have an indoor football practice field.

The building will also contain a strength and conditioning center, equipment facilities and a sports medicine and nutrition center. The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders represent 17 sports, so Texas Tech has an uncommonly large need for a variety of large athletic facilities. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are charter members of the Big 12 Conference and compete in Division I for all varsity sports. The university also has more than 30 non-varsity recreational and competitive sports clubs that will have access to the new building.

The university is still in fundraising mode – money for the $160 million Sport Performance Center will be provided entirely by gifts to the Campaign for Fearless Champions – but is within reach of its cash goals. The campaign, which raises money from alumni, has already funded 13 of a proposed 25 sports facilities projects. Texas Tech expects the fundraising campaign for the Sports Performance Center to meet its goal by March of next year. Construction of the new facility, which has been designed by architectural firm Gensler, will begin next spring, and the university hopes the new athletics center will be opened by fall of 2017.

The press conference announcing the final plans featured Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert L. Duncan, President Duane M. Nellis and Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt.

"First-class facilities like the new Sports Performance Center give our fans unforgettable game day experiences, help recruit top student-athletes and ensure that our fearless champions remain competitive," Hocutt said. "The Sports Performance Center is our No. 1 priority in The Campaign for Fearless Champions and I'm asking the entire Red Raider nation for their support. Every gift, regardless of size, brings us closer to the day that we can welcome our student-athletes and fans into this incredible facility."

According to a Texas Tech press statement, a removable door will be installed separating the football and track venues, allowing privacy and student-athlete-access to both sides of the facility during events.

Currently, the 60,000-seat Jones AT&T Stadium serves as the home for the Red Raiders football team, and that facility has undergone extensive renovation in recent years. The new Sports Performance Center will replace the university’s 30-year-old Athletic Training Center, an air-supported structure south of Jones AT&T Stadium nicknamed “The Bubble.” The new complex is expected to be named for prominent Texas Tech alumnus Ed Whitacre Jr., former chairman of the Texas Tech Board of Regents, CEO of General Motors and chairman emeritus of AT&T.

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