NCSU Football Needs an Indoor Practice Center

It’s finally raining in the deserts of Raleigh once again.  That’s good news for homeowners, some who depend of wells for water for their homes, others who are trying to care for parched grass, for farmers tending dusty fields, and for nearly everyone.  We’ve needed this rain for a long time.  Unfortunately, however, it comes at a bad time for the NC State Wolfpack football team as it prepares for its most challenging game of the year so far.

The Pack has finally edged into the Top 25 for the first time in forever, and the team is looking forward to returning to the friendly confines of Carter-Finley stadium for a regionally televised contest against Virginia Tech this Saturday at 3:30pm.   Make no mistake about it, despite their seemingly undistinguished 2-2 record so far, the Hokies will challenge the Wolfpack in every phase of the game, and for the Pack to beat them, they will need to be sharp at every position.  That sharpness comes from solid preparation in the game film room and also on the practice field.  A win will raise the profile of the program nationally in both the rankings and with recruits making their college decisions, and a victory over a perennially nationally ranked Hokie team would indeed signal to the country that NC State football should be reckoned seriously.

Unfortunately, thanks to the otherwise much needed rain, it is inevitable that the Wolfpack team’s outdoor practice is in poor condition, and that’s when it isn’t pouring rain today and perhaps tomorrow.   That in turn will slow State’s practices, it will expose the players to unnecessary practice injuries, and at the least it will slow the rhythm of build-up the coaching staff uses from Monday to Friday as it builds their players towards a peak performance on Saturday afternoon inside the stadium and in front of a regional television audience.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Both Chuck Amato and Tom O’Brien have long indicated the need for an indoor practice center, once that could be climate-controlled just enough to allow full practices without fear of summer swelter in the pre-season and without fear of the autumn rainstorms like the one that the area is experiencing today. Both have said that it would help them keep practices on schedule and would greatly aid their maximizing the limited practice hours that is the reality of college football today.An indoor practice center might seem like an unnecessary luxury, especially now in these tough economic times, but it really isn’t: instead, it is a necessary piece of the puzzle the football program requires as it rebuilds itself from the lull that came after the Philip Rivers ended.  We don’t have one, and we’ll have to make do the future, but as State’s football program moves upward, the need for one will happen again, and then again after that.

It’s time for the Wolfpack Club, the Athletic Department and for the well-heeled donors to take seriously and heed the call of the coaches and to find a way to build the facility that they’ve been requesting for at least a decade.  State needs one badly, and that need will not be going away now or at any time in the future.  Of course, spare money in the worst recession since the 1930’s might seem like a bad time to even think about another capital project.  That’s understandable, however, there is another way:

If You Can’t Build It, Rent It.

Granted it would be far from an ideal situation, but if funds are lacking for a true practice facility to be built from the ground up, it would be a great idea for the Wolfpack Sports brain trust to consider leasing an offsite facility and retrofitting it for the team to use.  There is plenty of warehouse space with high ceilings and climate control sitting unused by fallow businesses and commercial real estate concerns, and leasing that sort of property is now almost literally going begging.  Such a place would at least partially fill the need the coaches have outlined, and it would certainly improve the team’s chances of winning when it has to practice in inclement weather.

Done correctly, any upgrades needed to a leased facility could be transferred over to a permanent facility when — not it — it is built.

Leasing space would buy the time the money men need to bridge the program to better times, and it would help the team sooner rather than later.  It’s an idea that should be considered.

AD & Department Chuck Amato College Football Debbie Yow NC State NC State Administration Tom O'Brien

52 Responses to NCSU Football Needs an Indoor Practice Center

  1. old13 09/27/2010 at 8:15 AM #

    IIRC That is the #1 need on DY’s FB to-do list.

  2. packalum44 09/27/2010 at 8:31 AM #

    Any idea what other ACC and SEC schools have an indoor facility?

  3. gcpackman 09/27/2010 at 8:33 AM #

    I have always thought it would be a good idea to have our current and former NFL players build it. Name it after all former players and allow them to come back and use it whenever they need to.

  4. LRM 09/27/2010 at 8:35 AM #

    Alpha, man, I’m not arguing that you don’t make a fine point. But too many of us LTR holders have wallets that are stretched pretty thin already. The only way I’m getting behind a campaign like this is to see a solid plan in place for funding it without asking those of us that paid for the C-F expansion to give even more.

  5. highstick 09/27/2010 at 8:36 AM #

    I thought Lee was in charge of fucilities? Did he miss that one?

  6. baxter 09/27/2010 at 8:48 AM #

    I think UNC has indoor facilities.

  7. coach13 09/27/2010 at 8:58 AM #

    I like the idea of leasing as a temporary fix. I hope we get some healing and recoup during this monsoon. Speaking of, any word on Kuhn and if he’ll be back this week?

  8. 66pack 09/27/2010 at 9:07 AM #

    gc,how charitable you are with others money.are you in politics?

  9. GoldenChain 09/27/2010 at 9:16 AM #

    I bet if we play in the ACC Championship it won’t be a problem getting the money. …just my prediction.

  10. old13 09/27/2010 at 9:22 AM #

    Also IIRC DY’s new hire from Westpoint specializes in fund raising. Between him and Bobby, I would think they could come up with funding ideas other than those used for the C-F upgrades. In any case, I understand that such a “fuhcility” would cost significantly less than $5M which, relatively speaking, isn’t a lot to raise. But I’ve also seen something about building a multipurpose facility (which I think makes more sense) that would cost around $20M. That would be a little tough to do with this economy unless some of the big $$$$ guys would help (a lot!)

  11. Classof89 09/27/2010 at 9:30 AM #

    We go to the ACC Championship game this year, we’ll get the indoor practice facility. This fanbase has shown over and over again that when it gets excited about a team, it opens the checkbooks…

  12. Old MacDonald 09/27/2010 at 9:30 AM #

    An interesting debate/poll is whether we should do the East side concourse or an indoor practice building first.

  13. NCStatePride 09/27/2010 at 9:41 AM #

    Damnit, I see no one else is going to say it, so let me throw this out there for any visitors to the site:

    This article in no way is an endorsement for Lee Fowler, his policies, or a plea for his services. If we wanted to replace Lee Fowler, rather than inviting him back, we would gladly hire a third grader to throw a tantrum shouting “More Fuh-Cilities!” and place a black hole in front of the Murphy Center for donors to chuck their money into. Thank you.

  14. Alpha Wolf 09/27/2010 at 9:43 AM #

    ^ As much as I would like an East Side concourse to match the West, I would rather have a practice facility to help the team play better and to help with recruiting.

    That would help raise the funds to not only build the concourse, but might start the momentum for an NEZ second deck in the next decade.

  15. CannonballJunior 09/27/2010 at 9:45 AM #


    I remember that Dick Sheridan used to have the team practice in Dorton Arena. They had turf that I think an indoor soccer team used and he would dress up the place with some Diamond S logos on the arena wall and have the team practice in there during real bad weather.

    Don’t know if subsequent coaches have used Dorton Arena but if it was a make-do option in the 80’s then I would think it could be a make-do option now.

  16. tmb81 09/27/2010 at 9:52 AM #

    What happened to the indoor practice facility in the Weisiger-Brown building? I recall going to a Wolfpack club Spring Caravan held in that room during the Mike O’Cain era. Did this get “repurposed” during the move to the Murphy Center?

  17. Clarksa 09/27/2010 at 9:55 AM #

    Anyone know where the new indoor fuhcility would be built? Are there plans for it?

  18. 61Packer 09/27/2010 at 9:57 AM #

    We can’t afford fuh-cilities because we’re paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to not one but to two athletic directors right now.

  19. IMFletcherWolf 09/27/2010 at 9:59 AM #

    tmb81 Says:

    What happened to the indoor practice facility in the Weisiger-Brown building? I recall going to a Wolfpack club Spring Caravan held in that room during the Mike O’Cain era. Did this get “repurposed” during the move to the Murphy Center?

    W-B is now used by the Men’s Basketball program.

  20. Old MacDonald 09/27/2010 at 10:02 AM #

    Sheridan also used the SoccerDome (now XL) on occasion. The owner was nice enough to let us use it for free.

  21. Alpha Wolf 09/27/2010 at 10:03 AM #

    ^ I think that’s closed now. Not sure what’s in it at the moment…

    Anyway, that facility would be a good thing to get, considering its relative proximity to CFS/Murphy Center, its high roof and wide space. I know it’s hardly glamorous to look at, but whatever works…

  22. VaWolf82 09/27/2010 at 10:06 AM #

    There are some level of plans and those plans included the use of the facilities by more than just football. Bobby Purcell had a few lines about the practice facility in an interview that was available before gopack was redesigned. (I haven’t gone back to see if that article ever resurfaced or not.)

    In that interview from somewhere around 2007/2008, the top three goals of the WP Club were debt reduction and improvements to the baseball stadium and tennis facility. The indoor practice facility and east-side CF improvements were listed as longer-term goals.

    While I’m not arguing about the need, there is some evidence that fund raising may be running dry:

  23. NCSU84 09/27/2010 at 10:11 AM #

    According to

    “The current Weisiger-Brown Equipment Room was built in 2005 as an addition to the Weisiger-Brown Athletics Building. “WB,” as it’s called, was originally built to be the football practice facility, but now is the home to ten Wolfpack teams: cheerleading, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s track and field, and wrestling.”

    Can anyone enlighten me on why/who/how the decision to re-purpose the WB was made?

  24. sockerne1 09/27/2010 at 10:45 AM #

    The soccer dome is still open for indoor soccer (under the name XL soccer as mentioned earlier). Cant imagine productive practices going on there. Might as well use reynolds or RBC center if you are going that way.

    WB now hosts most mens sports (all but football?) and some womens sports perhaps. The decision to re-purpose WB i’m sure came down to….football had a new better location, so they upgraded some other sports (basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis) out of the reynolds basement. Especially wanted to upgrade basketball….

  25. waxhaw 09/27/2010 at 10:48 AM #

    ^ When the Murphy center was built, football weightroom/offices, etc. moved from WB to the Murphy center. Essentially this amounted to an upgrade for all sports as it opened up space for other programs that had no space.

    The “indoor practice facility” at WB, wasn’t the type of facility most are envisioning. We could practice in Reynolds and get essentially the same effect.

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