UA FOOTBALL

Arizona football: UA's gleaming new era

Workers putting final touches on new field, $74 million facility
2013-06-16T00:00:00Z Arizona football: UA's gleaming new eraDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Moving day is coming for the Arizona Wildcats - and with it a new era of UA football.

This week, Wednesday to be exact, the first of the equipment will start making its way into the program's new $74 million Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, which is nearing completion.

Training room and player equipment will be the first things to be moved in, and the ball will quickly get rolling after that.

"We're working very hard for the staff to get in there and start living," said Suzy Mason, the UA's senior associate athletic director for operations. "The inside of the building is really coming along. It's one of those things when you go in there one day and then return two or three days later, it looks completely different.

"It's really coming together."

The construction of the football facility, which will house all of the coaches' offices, the players' locker room, weight room, recreation room, meeting rooms and training room, should be fully completed early next month.

Mason said by June 25, coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff will begin boxing their office belongings for a July 1 move-in date.

"The planning has been exceptional, and there have been limited major challenges," Mason said. "When you have 280-plus people on site every day, a lot of work can get accomplished."

The UA will have a formal public opening and dedication of the facility in mid-August, before the team kicks off its 2013 season against NAU on Aug. 30. It will be similar to when Arizona opened the Richard Jefferson Gymnasium in 2008.

Of course, the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility won't be the only thing different at Arizona Stadium this season.

Installation of the new FieldTurf at Arizona Stadium is nearly complete. The new-look field features a bigger Block A at midfield, painted end zones and ghost lettering of Beardown that stretches across midfield.

Like the facility, the turf installation also has gone smoothly. Save for a few final adjustments, it's nearly ready to go for the upcoming season.

The new turf replaces natural grass at Arizona Stadium.

"We're really feeling comfortable with the turf," Mason said. "When the season opens, Arizona Stadium won't feel like a construction site. It will feel like a great place to spend six or seven Saturdays every season."

On StarNet: Follow the Cats through the offseason on Daniel Berk's UA football blog at azstarnet.com/uafootball

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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