University of Georgia approves $175.2M budget, plans for new track and field facility
The University of Georgia (UGA) Athletic Association Board of Directors unanimously approved a fiscal year 2024 budget of $175.2 million and a new track and field facility during its annual spring meeting.
Plans have been revealed for new indoor and outdoor track facilities about 2.5 miles away from the current track used by UGA’s track and field teams. The current site will be transformed into side-by-side grass fields for the football program.
No timeline or cost estimate has been provided yet, however, costs for similar projects can vary based on the scope. The decision to upgrade the track facilities is part of a series of improvements to Georgia’s football program. The team has already seen upgrades such as the $30.2 million indoor practice facility, an $80 million football operations center, a $63 million west end zone project and ongoing renovations to Sanford Stadium totaling $68.5 million.
Officials emphasized that Georgia is one of only two Southeastern Conference (SEC) programs without natural grass football fields side-by-side. They say that having grass fields would save approximately $1.5 million in annual costs for re-sodding and transportation. The wear and tear on turf has been a challenge, preventing the team from practicing on the grass fields during the postseason.
The decision to repurpose the track space will impact the community, as the Spec Towns Track has been used by residents for many years. However, the university aims to explore other opportunities and mentioned Clarke Central High as an alternative option. The focus is on providing suitable facilities while accommodating community needs.