University of Miami

Miami Hurricanes practice inside new indoor practice facility for first time

Richt guides tour of Miami Hurricanes new indoor practice facility

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt guides a tour of the teams new indoor practice facility on April 12, 2018.
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University of Miami football coach Mark Richt guides a tour of the teams new indoor practice facility on April 12, 2018.

After the Miami Hurricanes football team spent part of its practice on Monday in a torrential downpour and then later had it delayed by lightning, coach Mark Richt quipped that it would only be a matter of time before the team had the chance to work in its indoor practice facility.

Well, the day has finally arrived.

The Hurricanes on Friday held their first practice inside their new 83,000-square-foot Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility.

The football team’s official Twitter account posted a video of players walking into the practice facility from a short pathway that connects to the locker room and weight room.

The air-conditioned facility has two fields, one 80 yards long and the other 40 yards, the smaller field underneath the mezzanine where Richt’s office will be.

It gives the Hurricanes flexibility to their practice schedule — and a needed refuge when inclement weather hits. When lightning is in the area, for example, players have to clear the field for at least 30 minutes. If more lightning strikes during the wait, the 30-minute clock resets.

“Thank you to all who made this possible.....but we are not done yet,” UM athletic director Blake James wrote in a tweet at the start of practice.

The Hurricanes broke ground on the $34 million, 83,000-square-foot facility on May 4, 2017, at UM’s Greentree Field and saw the massive structure get put into place over the ensuing 15 months.

James told reporters on Monday that the grand opening for the facility will be on Oct. 11, but because they received a temporary certificate of occupancy last week, they will practice in there before that.

Friday was the start.

“Obviously we’re excited about it,” James said. “It’s a huge win for our program to have that facility in place. I just want to thank the Soffer family and everyone else that was involved in making it happen in such a short timespan.”

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