CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The Smith Football Center is taking shape and nearing completion. The $80 million facility is expected be move-in ready in time for the Illini football team’s fall training camp that starts on Aug. 1.
“It’s incredible,” Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said about the building. “I’ve had a chance to tour the nicest facilities in the country and once we open the Smith Center, there’s not one that I would trade for it. It’s long overdue and a great opportunity for us to support Illinois football.”
The football performance center will connect to the south end of the Irwin Indoor Practice Facility, featuring new and expanded strength and conditioning areas, as well as sports medicine space, coaches’ offices, position room meetings and brand new locker rooms, among several other amenities. The building will be formally dedicated during a ceremony in October when Michigan comes to Champaign. The new Dick Butkus statue will also be formally dedicated that weekend during a different ceremony.