On Wednesday, the Virginia football team got an opportunity to conduct a workout at Georgia Tech’s new indoor practice facility, an experience that proved useful on several fronts.
In the short term, it gave the Cavaliers a chance to spread out a little. Georgia Tech’s facility features both an 85-yard indoor field and a full-size 100-yard outdoor field, which gave Virginia essentially two large areas in which to work. At the Georgia Dome – where Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Bowl will be played and where the Cavaliers practiced Tuesday and Thursday – the team had just one 100-yard field on which to practice.
But in the long term, Wednesday’s practice gave Virginia’s coaches and players a glimpse at a luxury of which they’ll soon be able to take advantage on their own campus. Virginia is in the process of raising funds necessary to construct a $13 million indoor practice facility, and its design will be similar to the one at Georgia Tech.
London – who last week pledged $225,000 to Virginia’s indoor facility project – said that, selfishly, the chance to get a feel for what it will be like to practice in such an environment was a primary reason why the Cavaliers scheduled a workout at Georgia Tech.
“It did provide a visual to know that type of a structure, that’s kind of the prototype,” London said. “I think our administration has done a great job of, for whatever reason, [Georgia Tech’s] is 85-yards long, but doing ours in a way that it’ll cover a 100-yard field and some other fixtures and other things that they’ve noted that they’ll make corrections to. It was kind of neat to see kind of the outlay or the model of what ours will look like, as well.”
Virginia also was supposed to practice at Georgia Tech’s facility Tuesday, but rainy conditions necessitated a move to the Georgia Dome.
According to athletic department officials, nearly $9.5 million has been committed to Virginia’s indoor practice facility project thus far. Assuming the athletic department can secure $13 million in pledges by the end of February, construction will begin at some point in late spring or early summer. The intent is for the facility to be ready for use by the start of spring practice in 2013.