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New Indoor Practice Facility Will Level the Playing Field for Miami Football

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    Special to UM News

    indoorfacilityCORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 23, 2016)—With thunderstorms and lightning occasionally disrupting valuable practice time for the Miami Hurricanes football team, an indoor practice facility had long been on the University of Miami’s wish list.

    Now, a multimillion-dollar gift from a prominent South Florida real estate developer and his family will not only help build the much-needed site but will even the playing field for one of the few schools in a major conference still lacking such a facility.

    On Friday, UM  announced  the largest donation in the history of its Department of Athletics, the lead gift for a state-of-the-art football indoor practice facility. In honor of their mother, Carol, Jeffrey Soffer and Carol’s other children, have made a $14 million commitment towards the Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility.

    “I’ve been a passionate supporter of the University of Miami Athletics Department for over 20 years, and I’m honored that my family and I can be part of this tremendous project,” Carol Soffer said. “The football indoor practice facility will bring a new dimension to the University. It will have a lasting effect on all student-athletes now and in the future.”

    indoor-practice-facilityThe 81,800-square-foot facility will feature two field-turf fields—one 80 yards long and an additional 40-yard field directly connecting to the Squillante Strength and Conditioning Center. The facility will be located on the current football practice grounds and will feature interconnectivity to the Hecht Athletic Center and the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence.

    “Athletic excellence is an integral part of the University of Miami, building character and community,” said UM President Julio Frenk. “It is in this spirit that I thank the Soffer family on behalf of our student-athletes and the entire U family.”

    The project includes a 20,000-square-foot football operations center with a mezzanine level that will house all of the football coaches’ office space with views overlooking the indoor fields. The football center will also feature six position meeting rooms, a head coach’s suite, three coaches’ conference rooms, a first-class football recruiting suite complete with lounges and meeting rooms, as well as a state-of-the-art video center.

    “Today we take yet another step forward in continuing our mission of Building Champions at the University of Miami,” Director of Athletics Blake James said. “The generosity of Carol Soffer’s children and others enables us to build one of the finest football facilities in the nation, which will serve the needs of our football program and all our student-athletes for years to come. We are forever grateful to Jeffrey, and Carol’s other children for their support of and passion for UM Athletics.”

    To date, $24 million of the $34 million project has already been pledged by donors, with fundraising continuing through the fall. Groundbreaking will occur as soon as all funds have been committed.

    “An indoor practice facility means a great deal to this football program,” said head football coach Mark Richt. “I am grateful that the University and the Department of Athletics recognized the need for an indoor facility and worked tirelessly to make it happen. I can’t thank the Soffer family enough for their contribution and helping us bring this project to fruition. We appreciate Carol’s generous and deeply committed support of Miami Hurricane Athletics.”

    The facility’s namesake, Carol Soffer is a lifelong champion of the University of Miami football program and athletics department, and an active member of the University community. Originally from Chicago, Carol has been a Golden Cane Society donor for over 20 years and supported many Miami Athletics initiatives, most recently the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence project.




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