Indoor Facilities: The new arms race

Boston College’s athletics department made a bold move on Feb. 22, as athletic director Brad Bates announced a $200 million initiative on part of the school to upgrade its sports facilities. The school’s plans include a new indoor football practice building adjacent to Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, new outdoor playing fields for the school’s baseball and softball teams, as well as fields for intramural competition.

For BC — the northernmost program in the ACC — the completion of an indoor football field house is much needed to give the Eagles a chance to compete in the challenging Atlantic Division, and not just on the field. Having a state-of-the-art facility to take recruits into on junior days and summer camp visits can be a huge plus in attracting talent.

Just ask Clemson, which recently released plans for a $55 million addition to its existing indoor field house, or Florida State, which received approximately $15 million in private donations back in 2012 to complete an indoor facility just prior to the school’s 2013 national championship run. In September 2014, NC State opened the Close-King Indoor Practice Facility at a $14 million price tag.

The initiative by the folks in Chestnut Hill is a sign that they’re willing to do what it takes to try and compete in the new world of college football, where autonomy among Power 5 conference schools is creating a new arms race.