Penn Athletics Announces $70M Track & Field Center
Penn Athletics Director Alanna Shanahan announced that the University would begin construction on a new state-of-the-art center for track and field, according to a report from the Daily Pennsylvanian.
Due to begin construction this August and be completed by May of 2024, the facility, named the Jane and David Ott Center for Track & Field, will become the new hub for Penn’s track and field program, DP.com reported. The project is currently wrapping up its design development phase and will soon enter into construction documents and bidding. According to DP.com, the facility will cost $69.35 million.The center was first announced in October of 2019 with a projected completion date of 2022, but the initiative was delayed due to changes in construction planning.
Below is an excerpt from the Daily Pennsylvanian on the Quakers’ track and field updates.
The facility was first expected to span 63,000 square feet as of plans in 2019, but the final facility will encompass 73,000 gross square feet. According to its official listing on Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services, the center will have “a banked track, long and high jump pits, a throwing area, and 990 spectator seats.”
With all the impressive features of the facility, Shanahan is optimistic that the Ott Center will help attract future recruiting prospects to Penn’s track and field program.
“Obviously, from [a] recruiting [perspective], prospective student-athletes are always enamored with shiny objects — this will be one incredibly shiny object, and it will be wonderful as far as to what it will offer our prospective student-athletes and, ideally, their eventual enrollment at Penn,” Shanahan said.
Additionally, Shanahan is enthusiastic that the facility will allow Penn to host more track meets at home during the indoor track and field season.
“It would be lovely not to have to travel pretty much every weekend in order to be able to compete, so our teams would be excited to have four additional weekends competing in our backyard on our venue,” Shanahan said. “It allows us to host track championships during the indoor track season. We are actually moving out of the outdoor track championship rotation, so an indoor track will allow us the opportunity to host an Ivy League indoor track championship in the winter track season, so [we’re] excited for that as well.”
Outside of Penn track and field, Shanahan mentioned that the Ott Center will also host the Young Quakers Community Athletics program, Penn Athletics’ partnership with the Netter Center to work with middle school youth in the West Philadelphia community. The center will also host youth track meets beyond the Penn Relays.
To read the full story from the Daily Pennsylvanian, click here.