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“Top facility in country when it opens:” FSU breaks ground on new football facility

Florida State football kicked off a new era on Saturday, breaking ground on its standalone football facility

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation

On Saturday, December 17, Florida State University took the first physical steps in finishing a project that’s been just over a half-decade in the making.

First floated as a potential infrastructure addition in 2016, FSU has been actively pursuing the construction of a standalone football facility since 2018, when it announced official plans.

In 2021, athletic director Michael Alford shared new renderings and finalized plans for the facility, announcing that the fundraising goal to kick off construction had been met, leading to today’s groundbreaking ceremony.

FSU President Richard McCullough, Norvell and Alford all spoke at the ceremony, with President and CEO of Seminole Boosters Stephen Ponder and Eric Carr also taking the podium to speak on behalf of the Dunlap Family, who have provided significant financial support to FSU athletics over the past decade (over $40 million as of 2019),

“Great things are happening on our campus and within our athletic programs,” Alford said during his address. “This new facility will be a fitting and well-deserved home for our legendary football program that will provide our student-athletes with the proper environment in which to train while addressing deficiencies that arise naturally as facilities age and needs grow.”

“We talk about our climb every single day, and there are great days ahead for Florida State,” Norvell said. “These young men, they have come together and they understand who we represent. They’ve invested in building that foundation.”

After shovels met dirt and the construction officially began, Norvell and Alford met with the media to talk further about what the building means for the future of FSU football.

“In this age of college athletics, being able to provide the most modern, up-to-date’s a special thing,” Norvell said. “To be able to have a state-of-the-art facility, it’s going to be incredible for our program and so excited about what the future holds.”

“This vision, it truly comes down to three things — mind, body and soul. That’s what we want this facility to be able to help grow and develop our student-athletes. Everything that we can do to build their knowledge, to help them be the smartest best football player that they can be.”

“You look across the country and the facilities, this is a need,” Alford said. “A need that we not only need to keep this program at an elite level but to invest back in our student-athletes and provide resources for them to continuously grow.”

“It’s a special day for the university, community, program — we couldn’t be more excited about the future we’re heading.”

Alford spoke on the need for the facility to not just be state of the art when it opens but years down the line as technology evolves.

“When you look at a facility like this, you’re really looking five, 10, 20 years down the road to make sure we’re putting everything in but also leaving space for growth.”

He said that the project, which cost an estimated $100 million, is expected be completed in 18-24 months.

“It’s going to be the top facility in the country when it opens.”