Tag Archives: University of Washington

Is Oregon’s Football Performance Center the world’s finest athletic facility?

Don’t let the imported Italian marble and furniture, Portuguese slate floors, black glass and Ferrari leather chairs fool you.

The University of Oregon’s new Football Performance Center may have lavish design elements similar to the world’s finest palaces, but this facility was built for one purpose – winning.

Phil Knight, founder of Nike and the Center’s chief financier, knows a thing or two about winning. His wife, Penny, evidentially knows a little something about interior decorating. No one will confirm the estimated $68 million price tag, but the attention to detail is unmatched.

War Room

Is this the White House war room?

From architectural designs down to the bathroom faucets, the couple spared no expense with the 145,000-square-foot Performance Center. The Ducks coaching staff, however, would prefer that we focus on the ‘Performance’ in the facility’s name. That’s easier said than done.

The six-story facility built alongside Autzen Stadium and overlooking the team’s practice field was designed to be both functional and efficient for coaches and player that spend countless hours there. To increase ease of access and convenience, building designers considered how rooms flow from one to another.

Among the Center’s list of high-tech amenities and creature comforts, include: vented odor-reducing lockers, a cafeteria, a players lounge with big screen TVs, a coaching staff war room, a sprawling weight room, a medical treatment facility, two auditoriums, underground parking and even a barbershop. The thoughtfully placed ‘O’ logos, the fighting duck mascot and the school’s green and yellow colors – all reminders you are a long way from Corvallis.

Oregon Players Lounge

Oregon’s facilities and uniforms have wowed recruits for the past decade, but the new Oregon Performance Center put the Ducks over the top. I know how Husky and Beaver fans will answer the headline: F#@! no! But talk to the top recruits who visit Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Texas or the new Husky Stadium. Even those that may not ultimately choose the Ducks will tell you Oregon’s are best.

Professional teams around the world now have something to compare against, but that was not Phil Knight’s intention.  He built the Football Performance Center to help the Ducks football program continue to compete with the nation’s elite programs. He also built it to help the school continue to blow away recruits. By all accounts – mission accomplished.

Is this the world’s best athletic facility? Make your case below in the comments.
Weight Room

Photo Credit: University of Oregon Athletics

Husky Stadium renovation nears completion

On September 7 one of college football’s loudest and most picturesque stadiums will re-open after a two-year, $260 million renovation project. The University of Washington Huskies Stadium host the Boise State Broncos at the updated Husky Stadium, giving fans a chance to renew their love affair with the beautiful stadium on Lake Washington.

Artistic rendition of the University of Washington's new Husky Stadium

Artistic rendition of the University of Washington’s new Husky Stadium

Under construction since 2011, the new stadium capacity is slightly smaller, dropping 600 seats from 72,500 to 71,900. Perhaps the most significant change to Husky Stadium was the removal of the running track surround the field. Similar to renovations at the Los Angeles Coliseum and Stanford Stadium, Husky Stadium was the only remaining Pac-12 stadium with a running track and its removal lowers the bowl four feet and bring fans closer the field.

The iconic cantilever roofs built to protect fans from typically rainy conditions on north and south sidelines have been retained, which is unwelcome news to visiting teams. Husky fans have created an ear-piercing home field advantage using these roofs and fans in the “Dawg Pound” are eager to continue the tradition in their new home.

Spacious new concourses surround the stadium and a new football operations building including new locker, weight and team meeting rooms await the team and coaches in the revamped west end zone. The south end zone’s former temporary-looking aluminum bench bleacher seats are replaced by permanent seating to create a bowl.

The cantilever roof was removed during stadium demolition, but an updated roof was installed.

The cantilever roof was removed during stadium demolition, but an updated roof was installed.

During the 2012 season when Husky Stadium was renovated, the team played a Qwest Field, home of the NFL Seattle Seahawks. Kansas City-based stadium architect firm 360 Architects designed the new look Husky Stadium.

To check out what the finished product is expected to look like, take the virtual stadium tour  or visit the stadium construction web cam to see the latest action at the stie.