RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics broke ground on the Vaqueros Performance Center Tuesday, a 45,000+ square foot facility being constructed north of UTRGV Baseball Stadium that will house the football program, be used by multiple sports, and is expected to be complete by the fall of 2025.
The first shovels of dirt were dug out by Texas Women’s Hall of Famer Val LaMantia, Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza, Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, UT System Regent Dr. Nolan Perez, UTRGV President Guy Bailey, UTRGV Vice President and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque, and UTRGV Head Football Coach Travis Bush.
“Nine and a half years ago, did you think we’d be sitting here today talking about this? What an amazing transformation,” Bailey said. “This day is an accomplishment not only for the university, not just for athletics, but for the entire Rio Grande Valley community. What we’re doing here today is all of us. Thank you for everything you’ve done.”
The Vaqueros Performance Center construction includes two practice fields that will be available for football and soccer, one of which will be made of natural grass and one of which be made of synthetic turf, with completion expected by the summer of 2024.
The Vaqueros Performance Center will also house a new, large, state-of-the-art strength & conditioning facility for use by football and other athletics programs, an academic support center, a football locker room, football coaches’ offices, a sports medicine facility, a team room with stadium-style seating, multiple meetings rooms, and additional office space to be used by other athletics personnel.
“The VPC is going to give us the best possible environment to train our student-athletes to succeed on and off the field,” Bush said. “We’re about to sign our first recruiting class in history and the biggest thing right now that’s helping us recruit top talent is knowing this facility is on the way. It’s going to help recruiting not only for football but for all sports and elevate the overall experience for athletics. We’re about to build a facility that’s easily going to be the best in the United Athletic Conference and one of the best in the nation in Division I FCS. None of this is possible without those who have invested and contributed financially. Thank you so much for your commitment. It’s a great time to be a part of UTRGV Athletics.”
This construction, with an estimated cost of about $45 million, is part of over $85 million in construction projects being completed by UTRGV Athletics to all athletics facilities over the next two and a half years.
These projects will be funded by revenue generated by the athletics department through ticket sales, sponsorships, and fundraising. State law forbids UTRGV to use tuition revenue to build or renovate athletic facilities.
“This is going to be a crown jewel for UTRGV and certainly for our athletics department. It’s going to put our student-athletes in a position to have success early,” Conque said. “This is a transformational facility. I can tell you that as we look across the country, this facility is going to be one of the best in the United States. It’s going to rival any in Division I FCS and it will certainly be the best in the United Athletic Conference. We’ve walked through, visually, every piece of this facility, every hallway, every turn, every nook and cranny, to make sure it’s exactly what our coaches need and what our student-athletes need. We’ll all be very proud when we’re back here early in summer of 2025 to walk through those doors for the very first time.”
*This article was published by UTRGV Athletics and posted here: https://goutrgv.com/news/2023/11/28/utrgv-athletics-breaks-ground-on-vaqueros-performance-center.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2MV6Hk_dKQnfRxmpDMJXT2rJakkJw4H59kJ8RLp0zpz77TsXgK90hjtRA