LOOK: Florida Gators overjoyed as long-awaited $85 million football facility opens to rave reviews

By OnlyGators.com Staff
August 15, 2022
LOOK: Florida Gators overjoyed as long-awaited $85 million football facility opens to rave reviews

Image Credit: Isabella Marley, UAA

Years of planning, fundraising, replanning and further replanning finally came to fruition Sunday as the Florida Gators officially opened the Heavener Football Training Center down the road from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The sparkling new $85 million complex will serve the home of Gators football, finally putting Florida’s facilities not only on par with but in many cases above its primary competitors across the SEC and nation as a whole.

Originally conceptualized in 2016, plans for the facility underwent multiple revisions given the needs and desires of the coaches who passed through Gainesville, Florida. The COVID-19 pandemic led to further construction delays, and head coach Billy Napier — who secured an investment into the program’s infrastructure from the University Athletic Association far beyond that of his predecessors — had a number of changes he wanted to make to the facility before construction was completed.

Among the accoutrements that can be found in the 142,000-square foot complex overlooking the practice fields: gorgeous locker room with zero-gravity recliners, state-of-the-art weight room, training center for recovery and rehabilitation, virtual reality room, dining hall, barbershop, indoor pools, outdoor resort-style pool, outdoor basketball court, individual team meeting rooms, lounges, coach offices.

Take a look.

“A big step relative to the University of Florida and Gator football. Moving into the Heavener Center is a big deal,” Napier said Monday while expressing his gratitude to those to made the facility happen both financially and operationally. “… No question it’s going to affect recruiting. More importantly to me, it’s going to affect the quality of experience for the current player and scholar-athlete.

“The great thing about the Heavener Center is it’s going to be used to be used by all student-athletes. All 21 sports here at the University of Florida are going to be able to use the inside and outside lounge area, going to be able to use the nutrition performance center. I also think it’s going to help our organization from an efficiency standpoint. We even seen that today, the amount of time we’re going to be able to save.”

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