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GOODS: New facility an enormous investment in athletics

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jackgoodsonlineLast week, President Michael Lovell announced a new indoor facility on the 800 block of E. Michigan Ave. No goals were scored, no baskets were made, but the announcement has the greatest long term implications of any sports story this year.

The facility will consist of an indoor track, and a field to be used for both lacrosse and soccer. The announcement was made in association with the Milwaukee Bucks, whose primary interest is likely the performance research center. The building is expected to be completed in 18 months to two years.

Lovell’s decision made waves across the Marquette community, but it has the biggest effect on the teams that will be playing inside.

For the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, the announcement means they will be able to play all of their respective home games on campus. The men’s team has split its games between Hart Park in Wauwatosa and Uihlein Park. The women’s team plays at Valley Fields for a majority of its games, but has scheduled two games at Hart Park.

Playing games on campus will allow more students to attend the games without needing to take a bus. The lacrosse teams’ presence on campus will be more prominent when they have their own home facility.

It’s been no secret that the men’s lacrosse team has experienced difficulties when it comes to scheduling. The team plays a majority of its games on the road (all but three this season), which all have to be at the end of the year in order to attract opponents to Wisconsin. Lacrosse may be called a spring sport, but the official NCAA season began Sunday.

The new facility will allow the teams to host games earlier in the season and give Marquette more control over dates. The teams will also be able to move their practices out of the Rec Center gym, which doesn’t accurately represent the conditions they’ll face when their outdoor practices begin.

Soccer and track and field will now be able to fully practice during the winter months, which make up a large chunk of their time on campus. It could also allow the teams to host more events on campus, such as spring soccer matches or indoor track and field events.

The new home will be key in recruiting for each team. Marquette can boast state of the art facilities to match the success all of the programs have experienced recently.

The impact could reach further than varsity athletes. The building is rumored to be open to students and club sports, like ultimate frisbee.

Overall, the move is an athletics investment desperately needed if Marquette hopes to compete at the highest level. The investment gives lacrosse a home, a place to hang its blue and gold banners from the rafters and honor their ever-growing history. It gives the team a permanent locker room. Not having these commodities in the infancy of the program is understandable, but an update was inevitable. If you’re going to compete at a top level in the sport, these are aspects that you absolutely need. For soccer and track and field, the indoor facilities will augment their current situation, allowing the teams to get to the next level through more sport-centric training.

Men’s lacrosse coach Joe Amplo is eager for the construction to finish.

“I’m thinking about taking my desk and just putting it on that parcel of land,” Amplo said. “I’ll be there when it’s finished.”

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About the Writer
Jack Goods, Sports Editor

Jack Goods is the sports editor of the Marquette Wire, covering the men's soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams. He is a senior from Buffalo, New York...

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