If all goes smoothly, the Utah football program could be receiving a new, upgraded indoor practice facility.

The approval process took a big step forward Tuesday, when the University of Utah board of trustees unanimously voted to approve the bonding for the $61.8 million project. 

Now, the state Legislature must approve the bonding. If approved, construction could begin this spring and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2024. 

The new indoor facility would be built next to the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Facility and the Spence Eccles Field House, which was constructed in 2004. 

According to the school, the proposed climate-controlled facility would be 101,000-square feet and feature a 120-yard football field with end zones, a 90-foot ceiling (high enough to allow for punting) and video boards. The building would include space for storage, a lobby, a sports medicine annex and restrooms. 

Eric Weddle proving to be ‘difference-maker’ during Rams’ run to the Super Bowl
‘We’re building the brand’: Expect Utes to continue adding to 2022 class via transfer portal

In a proposal to the board of trustees, the university said the new facility is needed because players need a place to train outside of practice sessions. Right now, the football program shares the current indoor facility with other teams on campus as well as local recreational sports. 

Athletic director Mark Harlan said at Tuesday’s meeting that this new facility is necessary for player development purposes. 

View Comments

The bond for the indoor facility would be repaid through donations and university funds while operating costs would be provided from athletic department revenues, according to the university’s proposal.  

Last August, the school held a ribbon-cutting for another major project — the $80 million expansion of Rice-Eccles Stadium, increasing the seating capacity from 45,807 to 51,444. 

The expansion included the state-of-the-art Ken Garff Red Zone located in the south end zone. 

The Ken Garff Red Zone features new home and visiting locker rooms, sports medicine facilities and hospitality areas, the University Club restaurant, Diglisic Lounge, Layton Field Club and various premium seating options, including suites, loge boxes, ledge, club and premium terrace seating as well as additional bleacher seating.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.