Saturday, March 26, 2005

Football facility funding growing

KU officials halfway to $30 million goal


Kansas University's athletic department continues to plug away at its $30 million goal for building a new football facility.

Since the beginning of the year, $6 million more has been raised toward the massive project, bringing the total amount donated to approximately $15 million. KU associate athletics director Jim Marchiony said the latest $6 million had come from multiple donors.

"We think it's going well," Marchiony said of the fund-raising efforts. "We're impatient because we want to do this. We wish it were done, but we're actively working on that, and we're confident that it will happen."

KU has estimated the cost of the project to be between $25-30 million. Though no blueprints have been drawn, the facility will be located near Memorial Stadium, and KU football coach Mark Mangino hopes it will include offices, a weight room, a training room, film and meeting rooms and a practice football field nearby.

Several -- if not most -- of the Big 12 Conference's football programs have similar facilities in place near their stadiums already, and Mangino sees the project as crucial toward the development of Kansas football.

"It would help with the overall perception of the program," Mangino said last fall, "that the University of Kansas is committed to football. I think recruits and high school coaches see that."

Originally, the thought was that the facility would be built in the south end zone behind the video board, but nothing has been finalized regarding location. KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway is adamant that nothing will block the view of Campanile Hill or disrupt commencement ceremonies.

The largest known donations for the facility have come from Dana and Sue Anderson of Los Angeles ($3.15 million) and Charles and Sharon Lynch Kimbell of Hutchinson ($3 million).

  • Annual Arrowhead game?: KU athletics director Lew Perkins was a guest on "The Sports Spot" on a Kansas City television station Wednesday and spoke about KU's Oct. 15 game with Oklahoma at Arrowhead Stadium.

Perkins said he didn't want a game at Arrowhead to be a one-time deal, saying an annual game at the home of the Chiefs was a good idea to reach out to Kansas City-area alumni.

"There's an awful lot of Kansas fans in Missouri, and we've neglected to come to them," Perkins said.

Perkins said KU would like to play Missouri or Kansas State at Arrowhead in the future, but both schools have balked at a proposal to have a two-game series in Kansas City.

"They don't want to give up a home game," Perkins said. "We're willing to do that because we think Kansas City is our home, too."

  • Spring football to resume: KU will resume spring practices Wednesday with a closed session. The Jayhawks have 10 more practices between now and the April 16 spring game, but none are open to the public. An April 6th practice is open to media only.

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