UCF Knights Athletic Director Terry Mohajir presented a slew of new facilities projects he’d like his department to undertake in the coming years to the university’s board of trustees last Thursday. His plan, formulated over his first six months on the job at UCF, include upgrades and new construction at the Bounce House, the relocation of the much-ballyhooed Recovery Cove, and renovations to the Wayne Densch Center.
You can view Mohajir’s presentation here:
UCF released an interactive presentation after the board meeting, which can be viewed here:
The timeline, of course, is still TBD, what with a pandemic floating about and whatnot.
The price tag: Mohajir was a bit cagey about this, but he did float $50 million, all to be privately raised of course (Remember that no university funds can be used for any of this).
There’s a lot to break down here, but we’ll go phase by phase.
Phase 1: Recovery Cove and Parking
The good news is the McNamara Cove is still on the docket, which makes sense since it has already been paid for via private donations. Only one change: It’s being moved to the southwest corner of the stadium from the southeast, in front of the new Roth Athletics Center:
Just south of that, some new (and much-needed) parking will be added next to the Wayne Densch Sports Center.
To make room for this, one of the practice fields (the western one) will aparently be eliminated and a new one will go up to the east.
Phase 2: Launch Club and Stadium Wings
Next up, a new club on the south end of the stadium, the Launch Club:
This addition will serve two purposes: (1) as a club for fans to watch the game, and (2) as a place for the football coaches’ offices. This makes for quite a comfortable arrangement for the staff, overlooking both the stadium and the practice fields, and being situated right above the locker room:
In terms of seating expansion, the only additions on the docket are two standing-room-only wings for student overflow on either end of the video board on the north end:
I have to admit I was personally hoping for a more ambitious expansion, perhaps along the lines of the original plans for the stadium:
But I suppose we’ll get there when we get there.
One question that popped up on social media is why the students were being shuffled out of the south end zone in favor of the club. Actually, they aren’t. The upper level of the south end is currently for young alumni, not students. So the Knightmare remains squarely in the face of opponents if they are driving south.
Phase 3: Wayne Densch Renovation
Finally, Mohajir envisioned the Wayne Densch Sports Center being converted into a student-athletes only facility, by way of moving the football offices out and into the new Launch Club. That would clear out a lot of space for, well, whatever. But this includes massively tricking out the weight room:
The former coaches’ offices could be converted into meeting space, entertainment, or any other ideas that may come to pass, including an updated team meeting room.
Bottom line is, this is a super-ambitious plan, and that’s based solely on what UCF is calling the Football Campus, let alone...
Mohajir made it clear in his presentation to the board that he wanted to discuss only the Football Campus part of his plan, and that further plans regarding other facilities are in the works and would be made public in the future.
However, one detail our Bryson Turner did notice was the absence of the track from the UCF Track and Soccer Complex in the renderings:
That said, I can't help but notice the track is gone...— Bryson Turner (@itsBrysonTurner) August 19, 2021
On Friday, Mohajir met the media to clarify and add to some points in his presentation, including the fact that the track part of the UCF Track & Soccer Complex was apparently left out of the renderings. He spoke about that up front:
Clearly, the Football Campus is one significant part of larger plans that will likely be revealed in further detail eventually.
We reported in 2019 that UCF’s Campus Master Plan included plans for a dedicated soccer stadium, the Basketball Center, and a tennis facility on campus. There has been no indication of any updates to that other than what Mohajir mentioned early in his presser, and of course the apparent move of the soccer-only facility to where it currently is, while possibly moving the track.
Either way, we can glean that UCF is making a major commitment to soccer in their future facilities plans. Mohajir emphasized his belief that UCF can win national championships in both men’s and women’s soccer, and we could not agree more.
However, UCF Track and Field deserves to also have their own facility, given how that program has produced national champions, and nearly produced another one this year. So we are definitely looking forward to what Mohajir has in store for that program — and all of the others — in the future.
What additions to the facilities plan would you like to see? Let us know below.