Virginia Tech for a long while has self proclaimed that they have some of the best athletic facilities in the country. I don't disagree with the quality of existing facilities, but there is obvious work that needs to be done.
Thank you to all who made this happen!!! pic.twitter.com/OBO2jMDOUI— Scot Loeffler (@CoachLefty_VT) May 17, 2015
Football facilities is the primary focus of HokieNation, but is it a risk to focus so much attention on one sport, which to be honest has been in better shape than any of the other athletic programs, from a facilities standpoint at least. The new indoor football facility will rank as one of the most aesthetically pleasing and technologically advanced facilities of its kind in the country, which will bode well for that program. However, is VT in need of a new basketball, baseball, track, tennis and soccer facility? Not too long ago VT's baseball team hosted an NCAA regional in Blacksburg, which I believe opened the eyes of alumni and administrators that an upgrade is needed. Now, I do not think it will be necessary to rebuild the stadium, but upgraded seating, a new press box and better practice facilities would not be too much to ask from an athletics program that profits approximately $70 million a year.
The Men's and Women's track and field squad ranks among the highest performing squads in the country with consistent top-25 rankings and multiple national champions at the individual level. Their current facilities are split between the Johnson-Miller track complex and Rector Field House, both entities (outdoor and indoor tracks) are nearing 18 years old with the Field House moving towards 45 years old. Now, there have been upgrades to both facilities, but a lack of foresight and progressive thinking has left both facilities behind the times.
Cassell Coliseum might be near and dear to many Hokies across the globe as they have turned to it in times of great victory, defeat, remembrance and commencement, but I am one Hokie alum that is not a fan. Having grown up in the heart of ACC basketball Cassell Coliseum is just not a quality arena today. Now, there have been substantial upgrades to the lighting and sound system, but it is still a low-cost construction gym. It has character for sure, but lacks the intimacy or flare that I think is needed. As you travel around to the great coliseums of the ACC there are many characteristics that make them great outside of winning. At Duke's Cameron Indoor you are close, uncomfortable and hot, but love it because of those reasons. In the Dean Dome or PNC Arena there is a molding of tradition and flare that garnish the facilities. Cassell lacks those, maybe because of a lack of tradition (steady success) or because fans are not happy with the gym. Winning helps for sure, but support is needed to win and having a half empty gym is just not acceptable for a school that boasts a 30,000+ student enrollment, which is 3rd highest in the conference. So, what do we do? As I take a look around many schools, with the exception of Duke, have left behind their gyms and built arenas, not necessarily the 20,000 seater, but better facilities to host better more events. But is that that right direction for VT basketball and for VT? I think so, but what do you think?
Facilities matter and VT has some pretty nice ones, but are they at the standard they need to be? Might is take spending money to make money and spending money to ultimately win?
Let us know your thoughts.