ATMORE, Ala. — A small line item presented to Auburn’s Board of Trustees more than one year ago is not so minuscule to Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs.
Still, the possibility of building a football-only facility priced at $30 million or more seems far away. Auburn has other construction plans on the docket, including a massive renovation at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“Absolutely it’s in the top 10 (projects),” Jacobs said of the football-only facility. “What that means if it’s going to happen next year or 10 years from now? It just depends on everything else that goes on.”
Many programs across the SEC have built football-only facilities in recent years. Auburn’s preliminary budget released in the spring of 2015 showed a football-only facility was budgeted for 2018. Jacobs later said that summer plans would be made in the next five years.
“First of all, you can’t ever get complacent with your facilities or you will wake up one day and be behind in this league,” Jacobs said. “It’s why we have to keep pushing to do what’s best for Auburn whether it’s a football facility, equestrian facility, sports medicine facility. We have to keep working every day to provide the best facilities for our student-athletes so they can have the best experience in the nation.”
The sports medicine facility, originally scheduled to cost $25 million, is well ahead of Auburn’s football facility plans. Plans are also in place for updates to Auburn’s softball facility at Jane B. Moore Field, where Clint Myers has taken the Tigers to the Women’s College World Series two straight years, including a national runner-up finish in June.
Whether the football-only facility would truly be used only for football or if Auburn would simply renovate its 27-year-old athletics complex is still to be determined.
In 2015, Gus Malzahn confirmed talks were underway, but said this spring he is happy with the Tigers’ facilities. Auburn opened a $6.6 million Wellness Kitchen and a residence hall housing most of the football team was opened in July 2013 at a cost of $51 million.