UCF football looking to add air conditioning to Nicholson Fieldhouse
Practices and workouts will require more velocity to execute the Oregon-based offense, so Frost has asked the administration to update Nicholson Fieldhouse, the first indoor practice facility in the state of Florida, and add air-conditioning.
UCF administrators already started the process, with engineers visiting campus to inspect the facility within the past two weeks. The renovation could happen by August, when preseason camp starts.
Tony and Sonja Nicholson donated at least $2 million to help build the fieldhouse, which opened in 2005. Nicholson, who sits on the board for the UCF Athletics Association, said former football coach George O’Leary wanted to control the building’s climate by using large industrial fans to mimic Florida’s humid conditions.
Frost has a different preference.
“It’s not been adequate in the eyes of our [current] coaching staff and he feels that he’ll be training them at such a high rate of activity for two or three hours that it would be best to have air conditioning. He doesn’t want any kid fainting in the fieldhouse,” Nicholson told the Orlando Sentinel Monday. “I understand that point very well, so we’re coming up with a solution and hopefully we’ll be able to do it. But you have to consider the other part that is conditioning the kid to withstand all the heat and oppression that it gives and be able to go on the playing field against our opponents who are just not used to this humidity and heat. We’re at a distinct advantage.”
UCF is also looking to update its video boards at Bright House Networks Stadium and CFE Arena. New athletics director Danny White said these improvements are vital to increasing revenue because larger boards allow for more advertising spots to sell corporate sponsors.
“… From a ticket sales standpoint, I think building a fan base when most of our competitors … where they have that high level of audio capability and we don’t, then I think it probably hurts how we’re perceived,” White said. “So we want to build a bigger fanbase and season ticket base, and I think that’s one of the things we can do to create an awesome experience and get them to make the decision to not watch the game on television at their home, but actually come.”