Facility Focus (Sports, Fitness, Wellness Centers)

UMass Amherst: McGuirk Alumni Stadium (Expansion)

UMass Amherst: McGuirk Alumni Stadium (Expansion)

PHOTOS © PETER VANDERWARKER

Designed in the early 1960s by Gordon Bunshaft of SOM, the McGuirk Alumni Stadium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been home to Minutemen Football for more than 60 years. Completed in 2014 by Perkins+Will’s Boston office, in collaboration with HOK, the Football Performance Center and Press Box support the team’s transition from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and an enhanced game day experience.

The Football Performance Center has become the new face of the stadium, allowing approaching students, players and fans to see into and through the building to the stadium. Upon entering the lobby, visitors, fans, players and coaches are immersed in the rich history, traditions and successes of Minutemen Football. Overlooking the field from the north end zone, the upper floor includes a 120-seat auditorium, player’s lounge, hall of fame, multipurpose function room, reception area and football team administration area. The multipurpose function room, with expansive views of the field and stadium, opens up to an entertainment terrace for an enhanced game-day experience for fans and members of the Grid Iron Club.

The building is designed to be flexible and efficient to maximize the time and energy of players and coaches. The ground floor, or “players’ floor,” includes a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center, sports medicine and training suite, team and coach locker rooms and equipment storage.

The new press box replaces the original facility built in 1964. The new facility includes a president’s suite, athletic director suite, home team and visiting team suites, areas for TV and radio talent, game day operations, coaches’ booths, instant replay and a 50-seat working press area.

The project has transformed and revitalized the original 1960s McGuirk Alumni Stadium and surrounding campus open space to create a vibrant and active area for campus life and intercollegiate athletics.

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of College Planning & Management.

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