Rice to build new soccer, track and field facility

Rice University will begin construction soon on a new $2 million grandstand, enclosed press box and team facilities for soccer and men’s and women’s track and field and cross country.

The new grandstand, which will accommodate 1,500 people with a mixture of chairback and bleacher seating, and press box are planned to be completed in January.

“We are excited to make this upgrade in a new facility for our student-athletes and fans,” said Joe Karlgaard, Rice’s director of Athletics. “This project goes to our philosophy and vision in creating top-performing teams and championships. We must provide the proper tools for our student-athletes and create inviting venues for our fans to come watch them achieve.”

Over the recent years, Rice has made significant investments in improving the infrastructure for students and student-athletes alike. Rice has renovated its multipurpose arena, Tudor Fieldhouse; constructed the award-winning Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center, which replaced Rice’s 1950-era rec center; opened the new George R. Brown Tennis Center; and is in the process of constructing the Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center in the north end zone at Rice Stadium.

The renovation is being fully funded by the university.

“We have outstanding soccer and track teams and are delighted that our athletes and their fans will have an improved facility in which to compete and cheer,” Rice President David Leebron said. “These students are extraordinary members of our community, on and off the field, and we’re pleased that these improvements will give them an even better competitive experience and also enable us to continue recruiting the most talented athletes.”

The teams’ building will include meeting rooms, a weight room and space for visiting teams, in addition to restrooms for fans.

The new grandstand will replace the current facility, which was built in 1966 on the site of Rice’s original football stadium. Rice football moved into Rice Stadium in 1950. The current track and field and soccer stadium did not use any of the old football stadium. The new grandstand will be designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects, the firm that also oversaw the renovation of Rice baseball’s Reckling Park.


About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.