Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
VCU Athletics has purchased land for the new athletics village, the department announced on Thursday.
The 10.94 acres of land on Hermitage road near SportsBackers stadium and the Diamond are owned currently by Greyhound Lines, which uses it as a maintenance facility. VCU purchased the land for $11.75 million, a deal that the two parties had been working on for months.
“This acquisition represents an important step in the future of our university and our Central Virginia Community,” said VCU President Michael Rao in a statement. “It enables VCU Athletics to move operations from core campus areas and free them for much-needed new academic facilities, including a STEM building now under construction at the site of the former Franklin Street Gym.”
The athletics village is a part of the One VCU Master plan, and it encompasses a new indoor and outdoor tennis center, an indoor multipurpose facility, practice fields and a new baseball stadium.
“The majority of our sports have suffered from inadequate facilities for many years,” said Ed McLaughlin, vice president and director of athletics, in a statement. “We have several steps remaining on other key parcels of land, but this project demonstrates our commitment to providing world-class Division 1 facilities so our student-athletes can compete for championships at the highest level.”
Currently, some sports such as men’s and women’s soccer don’t have a dedicated practice field, so they have to use various parks in Richmond. The project will allow the teams to have practice fields to call their own.
The purchase will be paid for using athletic department revenues and not state or tuition funding, McLaughlin said.