Vanderbilt unveiled detailed plans for the men’s and women’s basketball operations center and practice facility.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As part of the ongoing Vandy United campaign, Vanderbilt University today unveiled detailed plans for the men’s and women’s basketball operations center and practice facility.
“This is the first step in a transformation. It will be iconic and beautiful, yet effective and efficient,” said Candice Lee, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director. “I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to impact Vanderbilt Athletics and help position our student-athletes and community for success.”
Since publicly announcing the $300 million Vandy United campaign a little more than a year ago, Vanderbilt has worked closely with Populous, lead architect for the project, to refine and finalize designs for the initial phase.
The new basketball facility will be located beyond the north end zone of Vanderbilt Stadium and encompass 90,000 square feet and four floors. Design plans include two practice courts, locker rooms and offices for women’s head coach Shea Ralph, men’s head coach Jerry Stackhouse and their respective staffs.
“We truly see Vandy United as our stake in the ground,” Ralph said. “It marks the beginning of a new era and is proof of our commitment to elevate the best student-athlete experience in college athletics and take our fan experience to the next level.”
There also will be a weight room, training room and equipment area to be used by both teams, as well as a dedicated nutrition space.
“For our program, being able to have world-class facilities from the standpoint of training, getting all the top equipment, being able to have more [practice] courts—they all create more opportunity for our student-athletes to get better in their development,” Stackhouse said. “Their [Candice Lee’s and Chancellor Daniel Diermeier’s] commitment and the commitment of all the coaches to take our programs to the next level are unmatched. You’re going to see that in the future with our new buildings and new equipment we’ll have available for our student-athletes.”
The building will be connected to Memorial Gymnasium, the Commodores’ home court, which now features newly renovated game day locker rooms for both teams. This connection also will allow fans and patrons access to both facilities on game days.
“We are excited about so many aspects of Vanderbilt basketball,” Lee said. “Watching day to day, we see how Coach Stackhouse and Coach Ralph interact and support each other. This building represents the tone of those programs. Everybody has their own space, but there is a shared aspect. And it is connected to the broader athletics footprint that supports all our student-athletes.”
As part of the north end zone upgrades associated with the project, the concourses will connect to allow fans to move around Vanderbilt Stadium with ease. There will be terrace and balcony viewing areas on the upper levels of the basketball center for guests during football game days.
“I couldn’t be more excited for construction to begin. It marks the physical representation of the change that’s been bubbling under the surface at Vanderbilt for the last two years,” said Clark Lea, head football coach. “It’s something that we can all look to as a moment where we enter the next phase of our growth. What’s great about this first building is it’s going to impact everyone here in Vanderbilt Athletics. I’m so excited for Coach Stackhouse and Coach Ralph to see their programs benefit from this project. Obviously, it’s going to serve the football program as well and truly be the starting point for this Vandy United project. The first building for football is going to serve to enhance the fan experience here at Vanderbilt. We’re so excited to deliver an experience that the first-class fan base of Vanderbilt and Nashville deserves.”
Utility relocation work is scheduled to begin this summer and continue through the fall to support the construction of the north end zone facility. Construction activities for the building will begin during the upcoming football season and are expected to conclude before the start of the 2024 football season.
“We want to provide a championship-level experience to everyone we serve. That starts with the student-athletes but also includes our alumni, fans, donors, faculty and staff,” Lee said.