Boston College Athletics officially announced Monday that it will pursue the construction of three new athletic facilities within the next three years: a recreation center, playing fields for baseball and softball, and an indoor practice facility. The project will cost $200 million and will give varsity, club, and intramural sports better facilities to practice in, especially during winter.
By providing athletes with these necessary facilities, BC will be in a better recruiting position with more leverage over comparable schools. After a disappointing football season and the recent losses in basketball, it is clear that athletic improvement is necessary if BC wishes to maintain a competitive program in the ACC. As one of the few FBS schools located in a major city, with high-quality academics and a great alumni network, BC already has a number of great selling points for recruitment, as Director of Athletics Brad Bates often points out. But one of the main selling points for student-athletes is quality athletic facilities. In that regard, BC has failed in its recruiting efforts over the last 10 years. Once new facilities are in place, BC can attract recruits who would otherwise have chosen a different school.
This is a project that has been a long time coming. Indoor practice facilities are a must-have for a top college sports program, especially one in the Northeast. The University has promised improvements for roughly a decade now, and progress has been very slow. While this announcement is a positive sign, it remains necessary that we wait and see if everything comes to fruition as it is meant to. If BC fulfills the plan it has put forward—and we should see this process begin over the summer after Edmond’s Hall has been demolished—it will be a worthwhile project that establishes a firm footing for athletics in the future.
It is important to note that the entire $200 million cost is covered by private donations, meaning that no tuition dollars will be put toward these projects. A common complaint when the University announces athletic expenditures is that the money could be spent elsewhere, but in this case, since the University is not using tuition dollars, it is putting donors’ money into programs that donors wish to see supported. Alumni have been clamoring for improved practice facilities for years, and using their donation money for this purpose exhibits a commitment to alumni interests.
This proposal is a worthwhile use of donation money that would greatly improve the state of BC Athletics. BC has lagged in the creation of these facilities, and it is important to wait for an ensured fulfillment of the proposal. Once construction is fully underway and the new facilities are an inevitability, BC will have taken a step toward legitimately improving athletics and the many programs they affect. This will benefit everyone by increasing BC’s national prestige and bringing in more money that can be used on various non-athletic projects.
Featured Image by BC Athletics