Today was not just another ordinary day at Rutgers. Instead, it was one of the biggest days in recent memory for the athletic department (and particularly, the basketball program).
First came the announcement that school officials have set a groundbreaking date for the much-discussed multisport practice facility. Even more surprisingly, that date is right around the corner – November 1st. The new facility will be built adjacent to the RAC on the Livingston Campus and could be operational for the 2018-19 season. When completed, it will be four stories tall and will house men’s and women’s basketball, as well as the wrestling, volleyball, and gymnastics programs.
Here is the official press release from Rutgers Athletics:
As if that wasn’t enough, later in the day NJ Advance Media learned that the school is in the process of finalizing a naming rights deal for the facility with RWJBarnabas Health. That deal is expected to exceed $10 million, and could also be officially announced during the groundbreaking ceremony on November 1st.
Quite the day indeed.
This is a MASSIVE step forward for Rutgers athletics, and a move that truly shows our intentions to compete in the Big Ten Conference. You have to start by giving credit to the current regime for making things happen quickly and effectively, especially with their fundraising efforts. Since joining the Big Ten, the narrative has been that our facilities were way behind the rest of the pack and it was having a negative impact on football and basketball recruiting. That won’t be the case anymore.
Without a doubt, there are still some hurdles for the Rutgers athletic program. But now at least, we’ve put one of the biggest ones behind us.
It’s a great day to be a Knight.