VCU receives millions in donations for Athletics Village

Area where the VCU Athletic Village will reside. Photo by Alessandro Latour

Arrick Wilson, Sports Editor

VCU received donations for the Athletics Village project which will house 41.7 acres of facilities for tennis, soccer, outdoor track and field and indoor multipurpose facilities, according to VCU Athletics

A new tennis facility inside the VCU Athletics Village received a $1 million donation from the West Charitable Trust, along with a $2.5 million anonymous donation, according to VCU Athletics.

VCU men’s tennis head coach Anthony Rossi said the new village will not only affect the sport, but the fan experience as well.  

“A new tennis facility will give us an opportunity to compete for top recruits nationally and internationally,” Rossi said. “It will also give fans an incredible tennis experience.” 

The money donated will be used to help develop the United States Tennis Association-style courts at the new VCU athletic village, according to VCU Athletics.

Christopher Kowalczyk, assistant athletic director for VCU Athletics Communications, stated the new facility will house more courts in comparison to the current village tennis courts at Thalhimer Tennis Center.

The new tennis facility within the upcoming VCU Athletics Village will replace the current Thalhimer Tennis Center, featuring 12 outdoor courts and six indoor courts, according to Kowalczyk.

The new tennis facilities will help develop a growing tennis community in Richmond, Kowalczyk stated.

“In addition to developing an underdeveloped corridor in Richmond, the tennis facility will also serve the large, vibrant tennis community in Richmond. There will be a shared use agreement with the community,” Kowalczyk stated.

VCU women’s tennis head coach Vivian Segnini said the new facilities will not only affect the community in Richmond, but VCU internationally.

“It will also attract tennis players from other regions in the country and internationally as well and Richmond’s tennis will grow and VCU will be in the radar of even more people,” Segnini said. “There are only reasons to be happy about this change.” 

VCU men’s soccer head coach Dave Giffard said having new facilities will change and improve the possibilities available for the program at VCU.

“The project will be a game-changer for the young men and women who will be able to call it home,” Giffard said. “The ways in which this will change the student-athlete experience are, quite honestly, much deeper than most will ever know.”

VCU’s track and field programs currently train year-round on the outdoor concourse of the Stuart C. Siegel Center, according to Jon Riley, VCU men’s and women’s track and field head coach. Training outdoors means that the teams have to shovel snow off of the track in order to practice, which takes a toll on the runners’ legs, Riley said.

“The athletic village’s indoor track facility will be a game-changer. It will not only change how we train, but it will also allow us to attract more tier-one prospects,” Riley said.

The athletic village project is expected to be done in phases and will take roughly five to seven years to complete.

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