As UTSA strived to become more competitive in Division I athletics in recent years, it became apparent to everyone involved—fans, coaches, staff, and student-athletes—that the university’s aging athletics facilities were holding the Roadrunners back. The university greatly needed facilities that would adequately serve the needs of its student-athletes and improve the kind of recruiting efforts that are paramount to successful sports programs.
This harsh reality sparked an initiative, launched in the fall, to create the new Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence. The multipurpose sports center will provide UTSA’s 350-plus athletes a hub to improve their own academic success, health, wellness, and performance. “We want to ensure our student-athletes are having an exceptional experience—that they’re getting the right training, getting the right treatments, getting the best academic services, and having the opportunity to be in a first-class weight room,” says Athletics Director Lisa Campos.
The new facility will be home to much-improved strength and conditioning spaces, football locker rooms, coaches’ offices, team meeting spaces, and an academic center in addition to a sports medicine center, research labs, and classrooms that will enhance academic collaboration with the Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition and public-private partnerships in health and sports medicine. Most notably, the complex will also feature an indoor practice field with an artificial turf surface adjacent to an outdoor practice field with a grass surface. Both have the potential to be used by local sports organizations and community partners.
A committee led by Campos is working with a architectural firms Populous and Marmon Mok to determine the design and ideal location. In a radio interview President Taylor Eighmy said UTSA’s model for the new athletics center is the recently completed Vanier Family Football Complex at Kansas State University, which was also designed by Populous, a world-renowned creator of sporting venues and athletics facilities.
The center will be developed in partnership with the Roadrunner Athletics Foundation. The estimated cost of the facility, which ranges from $37 million to $44 million, will be fully covered by external fundraising and philanthropic support.