Board approves new Husker sports complex - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Board approves new Husker sports complex

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Posted By: Camila Orti

The Nebraska Board of Regents gave the okay for Husker Athletics to build a brand new soccer and tennis facility, one that will cost $20 million.

Head coach of the Nebraska men's tennis team, Kerry McDermott, says he's pretty excited.

"It's going to be amazing," McDermott said.

The Board of Regents approved the newest Husker Athletics project in a meeting Thursday. The complex will be built on the old State Fair campgrounds south of Cornhusker Hwy.

"It's kind of been a long time coming, you know I've been here for 31 years and to have a facility like this, it's going to be unbelievable," McDermott said. "It'll be a huge step–up for our program, and probably be one of the best facilities in the country."

The plans include one full–sized, lighted soccer field with seating for 2,500; 12 lit outdoor tennis courts and six indoor courts with a total of 1,400 seats; dressing rooms with showers; restrooms and concessions, and more.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman thinks the upgrade is necessary out of respect for the student athletes, especially when comparing UNL to other Big Ten schools.

"Soccer, we have the smallest field in the Big Ten, it is the only one without lights," Perlman said.

The field's 'buffer zones' also don't meet NCAA regulations.

The tennis teams have been practicing on facilities that don't have bathrooms or much space for spectators.

Only one regent, Jim Pillen, voted against the project.

"$20 million for 20 tennis students, that raised a flag in my mind as I thought about it," Pillen said.

The project will be paid for with private funding, which has already been secured. Construction is set to start in May of 2014.

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