In December 2013, Wake Forest Athletics embarked on the most ambitious fundraising initiative in our history. The project was the game-changing Sports Performance Complex and the fundraising goal was a jaw-dropping $68 million. The complex included the $21 million McCreary Field House, $37 million Sutton Sports Performance Center, which also included the renovated Doc Martin Practice Fields, and the $12 million Basketball Player Development Center.
Yesterday, we announced the groundbreaking of the 87,000 square-foot Sutton Sports Performance Center and 24,400 square-foot Basketball Player Development Center.
The leadership of Ben Sutton and Bob McCreary, two of the most loyal and visionary benefactors in our University’s 182-year history, started this effort. Ben and Bob, who had already made major gifts, announced in October of 2015 that they would collectively commit another $10 million if others pledged $10 million.
In all, 1,784 individuals answered that call. A total of 53 individuals have contributed over $100,000 with 11 gifts over $1 million. An astonishing six gifts were over $2 million with one being $4 million and another being $5 million. It is inspiring that our generous donors care so deeply about our mission to Develop Champions.
The Sutton Sports Performance Center, named for former “mic man”, Wake Forest Trustee and sports marketer extraordinaire, Ben Sutton, will feature a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning area that will include both weight rooms and cardio areas, dedicated space for enhancing the nutrition of Wake Forest student-athletes and will house football and men’s and women’s basketball coaches’ offices and team meeting areas.
The Basketball Player Development Center will enable the men’s and women’s basketball programs to avoid scheduling issues that make sharing one facility challenging. Connecting the Sutton Sports Performance Center to the Miller Center, the Basketball Player Development Center will feature an additional regulation court that allows space to run the baseline as well as access to on-campus strength and conditioning facilities dedicated to men’s and women’s basketball.
This dramatic facility buildout will place Wake Forest in a position to have some of the best facilities in the country in order to attract the nation’s most talented student-athletes. Furthermore, not only will we attract these talented student-athletes, but our facilities will allow us to retain and further develop them in the pursuit of championships.
The college athletic world is taking notice of Wake Forest and the incredible generosity of our donors. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this transformative new complex; because of you, there is an incredibly bright future ahead of us.