North Stadium

The new football facility will replace the North Stadium complex that currently houses the football program and was built in 2006.

LINCOLN — Iowa football has a new one. So does Illinois. Purdue, too. Even Northwestern funded a football building for itself that announces to recruits, as these buildings are designed to do, that the program is all-in on its future.

Now, Nebraska will announce plans for a football facility of its own on the day before the Ohio State game, The World-Herald has learned. NU athletics also sent a note to media outlets Thursday about a “major announcement” to be made in the East Stadium Plaza at 1:30 p.m Friday.

A press conference announcing the project had been widely expected this week, as NU Athletic Director Bill Moos on Wednesday night during a radio show hinted at an imminent announcement. According to one source, an investor’s meeting is planned for Friday, as well. The presser will include “key figures” from Nebraska’s athletic department and university administration.

The new facility is expected to have a price tag well over $100 million and will be built where the Ed Weir track stadium currently sits. The facility is expected to have bigger everything — weight room, locker room, meeting rooms — than the current North Stadium complex that opened in 2006. The new facility could have multiple stories, as well.

While the North Stadium building — attached to Memorial Stadium — held up well, its locker room just wasn’t big enough for the 150-man roster size coach Scott Frost prefers. The main meeting room was so small that some Huskers had to sit in the aisles. Nebraska views its strength and conditioning program as a crown jewel of the sport, but its weight room was smaller than that of Big Ten West programs with a fraction of NU’s history. Zach Duval, the Huskers’ head strength and conditioning coach, was working extra shifts just to get all the lifters in.

When Frost shared those details at Big Ten media days, it was clear a project announcement was imminent.

“At some point we’re going to have to do something,” Frost said in July. “Really what you want to do is give high school kids as many reasons as possible as you can give them to come to Lincoln, Nebraska, and play football. If that means we need to upgrade in some way, shape or form, then I hope we come to the right decision there.”

Moos — a facilities fanatic who so insisted there be natural light in Washington State’s new weight room that he put it on the second floor — has been talking for nearly a year about NU eventually needing new facilities.

Late last year, he put Nebraska’s setup at middle of the pack in the Big Ten.

“Football facilities? Out of 14? Probably eighth, ninth,” Moos said in December.

Since taking the Nebraska job, he’s toured many facilities, including Clemson’s $55 million facility that opened in 2017 and Illinois’ $79.2 million facility that opened in 2019.

Moos said Wednesday night on his monthly radio show that every other Big Ten program had built or was in the process of building new football facilities.

“We’re trying to build a national championship-contending program here, and you do that with a stable coaching staff, the great fan base — and we have,” Moos said. “But at the end of the day, it’s the arms and legs and the talent that’s gonna go on the field, and we want to attract the very best to Lincoln.”

All of these facilities are costly. Iowa’s building cost $55 million in 2015. Northwestern’s practice facility and football building — which overlooks Lake Michigan — cost $270 million.

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