The University of Oregon has pulled back the curtains on its latest state-of-the-art athletic venue today, the “Marcus Mariota Performance Facility,” named for the school’s 2014 Heisman Trophy winner.
The 30,000-square foot facility is underwritten by Nike co-founder Phil Knight at a reported $19.2 million, according to the school newspaper, the Daily Emerald.
The facility aims to combine “sports performance, sports science, sports medicine and technology in one efficiently designed space,” the school said.
“The goal of this project was to create one space where we could utilize the most state-of-the-art technology to improve student-athlete wellness and emphasize our commitment to the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Rob Mullens, UO athletic director, said in a release. “Thanks to the incredible generosity of Phil and Penny Knight, we now have a world-class facility that is going to take the student-athlete experience at the University of Oregon to a level not previously seen anywhere on the collegiate level.”
Mariota heard about it in a text from his mother after the Tennessee Titans concluded practice late today, and told reporters in Nashville, “I’m going to look at it right now. I heard it’s pretty ridiculous.”
In planning the Mariota Center construction, UO officials studied facilities at NASA and in Australia.
“It’s pretty awesome what they’re able to do with that stuff,” Mariota said. “I heard about the details, but to actually see it will be kind of crazy.”
Mariota might not see it in person until the Titans’ open date week, Dec. 4.
He’ll see what UO described as “a stunning tribute to the Sports Performance Center’s namesake” with his trophies for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Maxwell Award and Manning Award in the lobby. “One wall has a remarkable transparent LED flat screen television that alternately shows highlights of Marcus Mariota, and then reveals a shadowbox with memorabilia of his from Hawaii. There is also a playful illustration of a Pacific Ocean scene, complete with the Duck on a surfboard,” a UO release said.