Mobile, Ala. – Dec. 2, 2016 marked a significant day in history for the University of South Alabama (USA) and the Department of Athletics, as the Board of Trustees approved plans for a new covered outdoor football facility. The building will be utilized primarily by the Jaguar football team, but will also be used by the University for other functions.
The new facility will have a footprint of 96,000 square feet and will house a fully-covered regulation football field, in addition to a 15-yard practice area for supplemental drills. Located east of the existing football practice fields, the pavilion will provide an all-weather opportunity for practice.
The covered pavilion will be open-sided to allow for natural ventilation but has been designed to be fully enclosed in the future. The synthetic practice surface will feature all logos and end zone markings to emulate a true game day environment. Regulation lighting at the playing surface will be adjustable for multiple functions. A clear interior height of 65 feet will allow for all practice drills, with the exception of live punting, and a 20-foot run off at the perimeter will provide adequate space to safely conduct practice drills. The pavilion will also include regulation goal posts in each end zone.
A filming mezzanine will be located along one side of the facility, along with a filming platform at each end zone. Other amenities will include full protective padding at all interior vertical surfaces for enhanced player safety, restrooms, equipment storage, a fully-integrated lightning protection system and audio visual systems.
“In Mobile, Ala., lightning and heavy rain can at times preclude our ability to practice and prepare for games. This facility will eliminate that from happening. In addition, the facility will allow our teams to escape from direct sunlight in the heat of the day during the hottest time of the year,” USA Director of Athletics Joel Erdmann said. “This facility will be available for use by all of our programs, and we truly believe it will bolster our competitive performance and enhance our recruiting efforts.”
Officials expect to break ground on the football pavilion in January 2017, with the facility ready for use during the 2017 football season.
Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood is the project architect, in addition to providing landscape architecture and electrical engineering services. Other members of the project team include Krebs Engineering, civil engineer; Barter & Associates, Inc., structural engineer; and Edmonds Engineering, Inc., mechanical engineer.