Finally, Purdue football has gotten a badly needed investment in football with the announcement earlier today of the Football Performance Facility (We need a better name, but I would imagine Brees' name will be on it since he donated the first $1 million). As you know now, the facility will be on the north end of the Mollenkopf indoor practice facility and will feature a new locker room, weights facility, study areas, meeting rooms, and more. With a price tag for $60 million it is a substantial investment in the program and badly needed.
Just how badly was it needed? Well, I asked my fellow SB Nation bloggers if their schools had done similar projects of late. In 20 minutes I had over 15 responses from all across college football. Here are some of those responses per school:
We just opened our new indoor facility at VATech this year. - Roy Hatfield, Gobbler Country
Oregon just opened their new football complex a couple years ago and it's ridiculous even for our standards, which is saying something. - Sean Larson, Addicted to Quack
The first year FSU had its indoor practice facility was 2013. That worked out alright. - David Visser, Tomahawk Nation
Northwestern's undergoing a big facilities project - Josh Rosenblat, InsideNU
Georgia Tech opened an indoor practice facility in 2011, but at a cost of only $7 million. I know they've renovated a lot of the other facilities in the stadium as well, but I have no idea how much it's cost. - Joey Weaver, From the Rumble Seat
Virginia opened a new indoor facility in Spring 2013. - Brian Leung, Streaking the Lawn
LSU's Football Ops complex is 10 years old and they're already planning a renovation. - Billy Gomilla, And The Valley Shook
Arkansas built a new football center in 2013 that cost about $40 million. It's 80,000 square feet. - Doc Harper, Arkansas Fight
It's not going to be a new facility, but following the season, Oregon State is going to embark on a massive remodel in place with some expansion of their football operations center, the Valley Football Center, which is at one end of the stadium, with expansion and modernization of the dressing, equipment, and training components that have been out-grown by the growth in roster size and the new innovations of the current college football world. - Andy Wooldridge, Building the Dam
WSU's opened recently. FWIW, Mike Leach said something like it's "as nice as any facility in the country including Oregon," which is hyperbole, given the opulence of Oregon. But it's pretty damn nice. - Jeff Nusser, Coug Center
Maryland's building what will arguably be one of, if not the best, indoor facilities in college football. Thanks, Kevin Plank!
Here are just a few of the articles we wrote. Would definitely note and write about how it could impact recruiting and also look for reactions to renderings (especially recruits). - David Tucker, Testudo Times
This is probably a no-brainer, but I'd strongly recommend a StoryStream. We started one almost 3 years ago for Kyle Field redevelopment updates and we're still finding odds and ends to tack onto it even though it's done. - Rush Roberts, Good Bull Hunting
Arizona opened theirs prior to the 2013 season. This is an old post from when they took us on a tour when it was done. - Jason Bartel, AZ Desert Swarm
Kentucky started building a new $45 million football practice facility last year that should be ready next year. They're trying to make it state of the art and as good as any college program has. - Jason Marcum, A Sea of Blue
$1m from Howie Long is getting Villanova the "The Howie Long Strength Training Center" which is part of the $18m West End Zone Project. - Mike Jacobs, VU Hoops (It should be noted that Villanova is an FCSschool, so even THEY are getting involved.
Duke opened theirs in 2012 and it cost $6M. - Ben Swain, Duke Basketball Report
Notre Dame's practice facility opened in 2005 for $30 million or so. The indoor practice field doubling as the indoor track is attached to the back and originally from the late 1980's. They've recently replaced the turf but that whole area is due for a good renovation soon, I'd think.
The on-going 'Crossroads' project is dumping $400 million into the football stadium but it's mostly in 3 large buildings full of academic and student space. New suites, improved concourse and concessions, and widened seating affect football. Also, we're getting a video board so our fans don't have to sit through an entire game without watching Michigan muff a punt to lose ever again. - Eric Murtaugh, One Foot Down
This is everything that we have written in the past 5 months about facilities at Rutgers. The major scope of the new facilities plan is not a lot to do with football, but there are some upgrades included. The rest of our sports, especially basketball, are far behind other Big Ten schools and the priority for now. - Aaron Breitman, On the Banks
K-State has spent about $275M the last four years building an opulent shrine to the dying embers of Bill Snyder. - Jon Morse, Bring on the Cats
Look up Sherman E. Smith Training Facility. It's new in Stillwater, built in about 2013 I believe. I wasn't writing for the site at that point so wouldn't be able to tell you if we had a story but it's pretty nice. - Gerald Tracy, Cowboys Ride for Free
As you can see, this is an arms race and just to keep pace even with an FCS school like Villanova Purdue needed to make a move. Rutgers, Maryland, and Northwestern responding is also relevant because Those are the three Big Ten schools that probably had worse facilities than Purdue, but they were already moving. Purdue was behind a lot of other schools whose writers did not respond as well. Programs like Washington State, Oregon State, Rutgers, and Kentucky aren't exactly light years ahead of Purdue, either. Today's announcement was an important step for the program. Let's hope it is a first step and not a last one.