Rice is like every other football program not in the top tier these days -- they're making sure they can keep up with other schools in order to be attractive to poaching conferences and not be left out in the cold.
So today they announced a major upgrade to the football facilities at the school, an 80,000-square foot facility at the south end of Rice Stadium that will house coaches' offices, training and locker rooms, a sports medicine center and the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame.
"Rice Stadium is a beautiful and storied facility, but it is showing the wear and tear of its 61 years of age," Rice Athletics Director Rick Greenspan said. "Replacing the training and other facilities on the stadium's southern vista will go a long way toward restoring its luster and giving Rice football players and fans the kind of quality experience they expect from this university."
University spokesman B.J. Almond tells Hair Balls there is no price estimate for the project.
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The price tag will be determined once the plans are drawn up. He did say, however, that the project will be funded by private donations.
The south end of the historic stadium now houses the R Room which will be demolished, the university said.
"The new facility, plus other renovations to the south end zone, will make much-needed enhancements to this historic stadium and enhance the experience of our student-athletes and our Owls fans," President David Leebron said. "We are hopeful that people who love and support Rice's wonderful football legacy -- a legacy of high standards on the field of play and in the classroom -- will help make these critical investments in the future of Rice football."
As to the rest of the aged facility, well, you're still on your own. You either love it for its throwback nature -- and marvel that a Super Bowl was held there -- or you don't.