One day after BYU announced a new contract for men's basketball coach Dave Rose, the school called a press conference to announce the construction of a basketball practice facility and two major upgrades to the Marriott Center.
All three items have been much anticipated, with the foremost being a basketball practice facility. It was announced that construction for such a structure has been approved.
The facility will annex the Marriott Center on the east side and will be approximately 38,000 square feet in size. It will house two basketball courts, including one full replica Marriott Center floor with two half-court shooting areas on either side.
The facility is expected to be complete by the fall of 2016. The new digs are being funded through private donations that include funding for the facility's maintenance, and will be built by Rossetti Architects based in Detroit, Michigan.
A view of the newly announced Marriott Center Annex ... pic.twitter.com/1g8cEeu7EW— BYU Cougars (@BYUCougars) February 10, 2015
BYU's Twitter account also detailed the following inclusions in the practice facility:
A strength and conditioning center
Training room with hydrotherapy
Office suites for men's and women's basketball staff
Team lounge and study areas
A basketball hall of honor
Keeping up with the arms race in college sports is a very real thing, and this will go a long way for the future of BYU basketball. It also has a practical use, since the Marriott Center is a multi-purpose conference center often used for other events. This ensures both the men's and women's teams will always have access to a practice floor.
Inside the Marriott Center itself, two items were announced. The first is a complete overhaul to the scoreboard/video boards. Replacing the old system installed in 1992 will be four brand-new LED video boards measuring 24' by 18'. They will be capped by a display sign reading "Brigham Young University - Marriott Center" on top and an LED ribbon on the bottom. Inside the LED ribbon on the north and south sides will be two smaller LED screens visible to fans sitting in the lower parts of the lower bowl.
BYU has announced plans to renovate the remaining lower bowl of the Marriott Center & install the same prime chair... pic.twitter.com/CWA661qxbS— BYU Cougars (@BYUCougars) February 10, 2015
The final upgrade, the second inside the Marriott Center, was the announcement that the blue, padded chair seats that were already installed on one side will now be installed in the entirety of the lower bowl. This will drop the Marriott Center capacity by 1,900, bringing down the grand total to 19,000.
The video board and lower bowl seat upgrades will begin on May 1 and are expected to be completed by August, 2015, just six months away and easily in time for the 2015-16 season.
Photos of the new Marriott Center Video boards ... pic.twitter.com/ekFbLzEidg— BYU Cougars (@BYUCougars) February 10, 2015
Take a closer look at the new Marriott Center scoreboard and renovations ... pic.twitter.com/N4tsR72b3s— BYU Cougars (@BYUCougars) February 10, 2015
New advancement vice president Matthew Richardson made the announcement with Tom Holmoe absent to fulfill his duties for the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
The upgrades inside the Marriott Center will ensure that there will be plenty of luxury and prime fan experience to go along with the grand size of the arena. I don't mind the drop in capacity; 19,000 is still a huge college arena, and it keeps the arena current. (It will also look better on TV.)
Some serious coin is being spent, and it's been a great week for the future of BYU basketball.