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Mizzou moves forward with plans for indoor football practice facility

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Missouri LSU Football

Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Mizzou officials will request approval for the proposed football indoor practice facility at Thursday’s meeting of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, according to agenda documents prepared for the meeting.

Mizzou has set a budget of $31.68 million for the new facility, projected at 86,400 gross square feet, and will present a funding plan for approval. MU expects to have the funding plan and project approved by the Board by May. MU has already received two $10 million gifts from unnamed donors to help cover the costs.

After conducting a feasibility study last month, Mizzou plans to build the indoor practice field adjacent to the football team’s south end zone team facility at Memorial Stadium, which was completed in 2019. The proposed site is on the C parking lot, just south of the stadium and along Providence Road. MU could have also considered building the facility on the west side of Providence near the Devine Pavilion, outdoor practice fields and Missouri Athletics Training Complex, but by building the new facility next to the stadium “the team is provided excellent access for indoor activities and maximum comprehensive training facilities," the meeting document reads. The new indoor facility will free up the Devine Pavilion for Mizzou's baseball, softball, soccer and other teams to use year-round.

The new practice facility will include a full-size football field — built in 1998, the Devine Pavilion field is only 70 yards long — with what MU describes as “appropriate run off distances at the end zones and sidelines for player safety.” Other elements include restrooms, exam spaces, storage and support for this facility within the building. The Devine Pavilion was a $12 million project when it was built during the Larry Smith coaching regime.

MU is recommending Kansas City architectural firm HOK for the project.

A new indoor practice facility was a priority for Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz before he accepted the position in December 2019, and when the Tigers started winning games under the first-year coach, campus leaders moved swiftly this fall to raise money and assemble plans for the project. 

Tennessee hiring Mizzou football recruiting director: Newly hired Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel is hiring Missouri director of recruiting Jake Breske, a university source confirmed. Breske, a South Dakota native like Heupel, came to Mizzou in 2016 when Heupel was the Tigers’ offensive coordinator. Drinkwitz plans to replace Breske with former Auburn director of football operations Brett Whiteside, reported. Whiteside previously worked with Drinkwitz at Auburn and Arkansas State. 

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