UM Holds Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility Dedication Ceremony
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The University of Miami held its dedication ceremony for the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility on Thursday afternoon.
More than 400 guests attended the dedication ceremony, which was held on the practice facility field and included remarks from lead donor Carol Soffer, director of athletics Blake James, head coach Mark Richt and other university officials.
“It’s a dream come true,” Soffer said. “I’ve been waiting for this for two years now. I never imagined it to be as beautiful as it is. Thanks to Coach Richt, because he really was responsible for making this building sing. It’s incredible.”
The Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility features 75,000 square feet of high performance artificial field turf, two turf fields and approximately 90,000 square feet of floor area, which includes new football coaches’ offices, recruiting suites, team film rooms and indoor turf practice fields.
Richt and his wife Katharyn personally donated $1 million in support of the facility, which was strategically designed in conjunction with the Hecht Athletic Center to synchronize the two buildings. The football operations offices have a more efficient layout, minimizing steps between the weight room, locker room, coaches’ offices, film rooms and indoor and outdoor practice fields.
“It’s phenomenal. This exceeded anything I dreamed it could be,” Richt said. “I knew what it was going to look like all along, or at least had a vision of what it was going to look like, but the pictures don’t do it justice.”
In addition to the Soffer Family’s $14 million lead gift, University of Miami football alumni combined to raise $2.2 million in support of the project.
“Family is one of our core values, and you see it play out with our program all the time,” James said after the ceremony. “Whether it’s guys who leave here throwing up the ‘U’ or guys stepping up to make this project a reality, I think they all recognize the important need that this was for our program. It was great to see so many of them do their part.”
The Hurricanes football student-athletes have already begun reaping the benefits of the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility, which had a construction time of just 14 months.
“It’s amazing. Especially from my point of view, being here [as a freshman], it was just turf right here,” football student-athlete Demetrius Jackson said. “Every time we come in here, they’re adding something. It’s amazing and a blessing for it to be finally done.”