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Baylor Basketball

The latest on Baylor's basketball field house from Mack Rhoades

April 14, 2021
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Riding the wave of a historic season by the Baylor men’s basketball to the first National Championship in program history, Baylor Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades was asked by SicEm365 Radio about the latest update on the basketball field house that was announced back in 2018. 

Rhoades, who told SicEm365 Radio prior the the trip to the Final Four and championship game that the new facility could break ground within the next calendar year, provided another update on Tuesday regarding the location of the facility.

“You know, today as of right now, we really don't (have a location), right?” Rhoades said. “It's been out there publicly, right. We've got two sites. We've got the Ferrell Center parking lot side, we've got a city site.”

If the decision was made to place the facility on the “city site” referenced by Rhoades, it would be located on the opposite side of Interstate 35 from the University near Robinson Tower. Rhoades explained the plans to vet this particular location was put on pause when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“Both of [the sites] are great sites,” Rhoades said. “We really started to explore and really the city site became an option really right before COVID. And then you went into COVID and so all of that was was on pause and not a lot of exploration, not a lot of ability to vet because of just circumstances for both the city and certainly Baylor University.”

Over the course of the next month, according to Rhoades, the University will resume the evaluation of both potential locations.

“So we're in this time period right now where I think in the next 30 days we'll really vet and look at both sides closely, and we'll make a decision that's best for the University,” Rhoades said. “It's not just a short term decision, it's a long term decision. I mentioned it earlier today, it's like when you choose a school, right? It's not just a four or five year decision, it's a 30-40 year decision. In this case, it's probably a 50-plus decision. And so we'll continue to vet it, and we'll make the very best decision.”

In a recent article by the Waco Tribune Herald, Baylor women’s basketball head coach Kim Mulkey voiced that keeping the facility on campus would be best for her program.

“Everybody knows I am totally opposed to taking it downtown,” Mulkey told the Waco Trib. “I am a citizen and I pay taxes and I'm opposed to that location from that standpoint. And I'm a coach who came to Baylor because my office and my facilities are located on campus and that is where I want to remain."

Building at the first the location mentioned by Rhoades, on the parking lot of the Ferrel Center, would allow the basketball facilities for both the men’s and women’s programs to remain on campus. 

“I appreciate comments and thoughts and opinions by various stakeholders,” Rhoades said. “Certainly two very, very important people are Scott and Kim's opinion. But at the end of the day the University will make the decision, we'll make the decision what's what's best for the University and for Baylor Athletics.”

Within the last seven years Baylor completed the construction of McLane Stadium (2014) and the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium (2018) on the opposite side of the Brazos River from campus. There is direct access to the facilities from campus via a pedestrian bridge.

“You would hope that whatever decision we make, that everybody is on the same page, and everybody feels good about it,” Rhoades said. 

“That's the ultimate goal, and that's what you hope for, but if somehow we we can't get there, then it is what it is. We're again going to make the decision that's best for for the institution. We've talked about this and it starts with me, right? There's no one person bigger than this institution. And across the board. That's me. That's any one of our coaches and any one administrator.” 

“This is this is about what's best for Baylor University.”

Discussion from...

The latest on Baylor's basketball field house from Mack Rhoades

8,994 Views | 38 Replies | Last: 28 days ago by EvilTroyAndAbed
Swart Dra
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Putting the field house on the other side of 35 will be the worst decision BU athletic department has made since getting rid of the gold.

I don't understand why BU continues to try to pick fights that don't have to be fought.
osogreen
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Looks like the site next to Robinson Tower is receiving serious consideration.

The "city" site would be a major addition to an area that's exploding with new development. I can envision a venue the city could utilize for additional events.

I'm okay with either location just get it built.
Ewalker80
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Swart Dra said:

Putting the field house on the other side of 35 will be the worst decision BU athletic department has made since getting rid of the gold.

I don't understand why BU continues to try to pick fights that don't have to be fought.
I wonder if many would still feel this way if there were massive infrastructure improvements to make it safe, attractive, and easily walkable from campus. I would think such improvements would be part of any development plan. I would think that so long as the students want to walk there there shouldn't be any magic about which side of 35 it's on. You basically have to cross University Parks or I-35 --- how you have to cross and what the experience is like will make all the difference (i.e., we really need a new walking bridge if there's a new ferrell location anyway). You also have to ask the question which solution will be more attractive for people from Dallas, Austin, and Houston driving to mid-week games, although the student experience should always be the first consideration in my view. The combination of McClane and a beautiful basketball facility visible from I-35 would be incredible from a marketing/visibility perspective --- I suspect that is part of the appeal.
Sicem26
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Taking this OFF CAMPUS to a "Downtown" site would be a HORRIBLE IDEA for both programs.

Ask the Baylor Football Program how Floyd Casey worked out for them? Build it on the river, next to Baylor Ballpark and allow boat tailgating etc. Keep it on campus, STOP making this a harder decision that it needs to be. #Sic'Em Class of '98
osogreen
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Sicem26 said:

Taking this OFF CAMPUS to a "Downtown" site would be a HORRIBLE IDEA for both programs.

Ask the Baylor Football Program how Floyd Casey worked out for them? Build it on the river, next to Baylor Ballpark and allow boat tailgating etc. Keep it on campus, STOP making this a harder decision that it needs to be. #Sic'Em Class of '98
The "downtown" location would be adjacent to Robinson Tower as part of a dream to develop the area into a shopping, hotel, entertainment complex. Our own little Madison Square Garden. The west site would actually be closer than the other site for all the students who live on the west side of campus.

Don't even talk to me about being inconvenient. When I was a student, the team played at HOT Colosseum, now the Extraco Events Center.
Brian Ethridge
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osogreen said:

Sicem26 said:

Taking this OFF CAMPUS to a "Downtown" site would be a HORRIBLE IDEA for both programs.

Ask the Baylor Football Program how Floyd Casey worked out for them? Build it on the river, next to Baylor Ballpark and allow boat tailgating etc. Keep it on campus, STOP making this a harder decision that it needs to be. #Sic'Em Class of '98
The "downtown" location would be adjacent to Robinson Tower as part of a dream to develop the area into a shopping, hotel, entertainment complex. Our own little Madison Square Garden. The west site would actually be closer than the other site for all the students who live on the west side of campus.

Don't even talk to me about being inconvenient. When I was a student, the team played at HOT Colosseum, now the Extraco Events Center.
Yeah, not sure why everyone thinks the "downtown" location is by the old courthouse. It would be across the highway if there wasn't a graveyard, TSHoF, etc... already there.

The infrastructure of UP becoming walking and biking friendly also makes it more attractive than being by a low water dam.
Ewalker80
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Sicem26 said:

Taking this OFF CAMPUS to a "Downtown" site would be a HORRIBLE IDEA for both programs.

Ask the Baylor Football Program how Floyd Casey worked out for them? Build it on the river, next to Baylor Ballpark and allow boat tailgating etc. Keep it on campus, STOP making this a harder decision that it needs to be. #Sic'Em Class of '98
I don't really think the proposed location is comparable to Floyd Casey, which you simply could not walk to from campus---I never even heard of anyone doing that a single time. I suspect the development plan here will include vastly improved walking access from campus which contemplates the students walking to each game (heck many students didn't even walk to Ferrell because it was so hard to get across unviersity partk and distant from actual dorms). I would be shocked if they would consider such a plan without that as part of the package, making it so that MANY MORE STUDENTS WOULD WALK THERE THAN THE FERRELL LOCATION. They will pitch it more as "expanding and connecting the campus" instead of being an "off campus" facility.
Swart Dra
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Ewalker80 said:

I never even heard of anyone doing that a single time.


I did it once helping some buddies carry a very heavy trophy back to campus....

Save that "proposed" off campus space for more development of restaurants, bars, etc to go to before or after games.

Put the field house by the rest of the athletic complexes for continuity as a very impressive sports compound.

There really is no argument that makes sense for it on the other side of 35.

If they want it closer to 35...not that it's really that far anyway...move the Texas hall of fame to that side of 35 and put the field house in the spot where the HOF currently sits.

The HOF could use an upgrade and better space anyway.
Yogi
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1. Put it where Ivy Square Center used to be and call it "Ivy Square Garden".

2. Build it across the creek from the track stadium. Share parking with football/ track.

3. Build it on a man-made island in the middle of the Brazos.

"Smarter than the Average Bear."
texillian
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What is the plan for this area here?

https://imgur.com/a/bfLUjdU

It seems more ideal to me than anything by Robinson Tower. I don't see where it fits there.

https://imgur.com/a/MU6fpI6

Ewalker80
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Swart Dra said:

Ewalker80 said:

I never even heard of anyone doing that a single time.


I did it once helping some buddies carry a very heavy trophy back to campus....

Save that "proposed" off campus space for more development of restaurants, bars, etc to go to before or after games.

Put the field house by the rest of the athletic complexes for continuity as a very impressive sports compound.

There really is no argument that makes sense for it on the other side of 35.

If they want it closer to 35...not that it's really that far anyway...move the Texas hall of fame to that side of 35 and put the field house in the spot where the HOF currently sits.

The HOF could use an upgrade and better space anyway.

The Texas Ranger HOF location would be awesome right across the river from McClane, but I don't think Baylor owns it or has been offered it.
osogreen
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"There really is no argument that makes sense for it on the other side of 35."

$$$$$$$ The City is willing to chip in some major money. Visibility from I-35. Private land all around for bars, restaurants, etc.

If done right it could be a major plus for both Baylor AND Waco.

The site is cleared. There's a park, boat cove and riverside walkway already in place.
Brian Ethridge
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osogreen said:

"There really is no argument that makes sense for it on the other side of 35."

$$$$$$$ The City is willing to chip in some major money. Visibility from I-35. Private land all around for bars, restaurants, etc.

If done right it could be a major plus for both Baylor AND Waco.

The site is cleared. There's a park, boat cove and riverside walkway already in place.
Yep
Michibear
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Yogi said:


3. Build it on a man-made island in the middle of the Brazos.


Island? We don't need no stinkin' island!

william
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listen to the sneakers as they squeak across the hardwood.....



Edmond Bear
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texillian said:

What is the plan for this area here?

https://imgur.com/a/bfLUjdU

It seems more ideal to me than anything by Robinson Tower. I don't see where it fits there.

https://imgur.com/a/MU6fpI6




The first site is where the Hurd Howdy Hut is slated to be built. If there was another place for the Hurd to go, it would be the ideal location. But, that is probably not happenin'


The second image is really old. That whole area next to Robinson tower has been cleared.

LIB,MR BEARS
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Yogi said:

1. Put it where Ivy Square Center used to be and call it "Ivy Square Garden".

2. Build it across the creek from the track stadium. Share parking with football/ track.

3. Build it on a man-made island in the middle of the Brazos.


2
PartyBear
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I thought a shopping development was slated for next to Robinson Tower.

Additionally I'm a little concerned Kim will just announce her retirement if it is announced for down town based on her strong statement of position on the issue. I just think she will feel dissed by Baylor and say ok I'm not important, I'm retiring.

Seriously is the visitor center more important than this? Speaking of long term thinking? That site seems to be perfect for this project.
Edmond Bear
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PartyBear said:



Additionally I'm a little concerned Kim will just announce her retirement if it is announced for down town based on her strong statement of position on the issue. I just think she will feel dissed by Baylor and say ok I'm not important, I'm retiring.
.


From my observations, Kim is a clear thinking adult and not that childish.

LIB,MR BEARS
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PartyBear said:

I thought a shopping development was slated for next to Robinson Tower.

Additionally I'm a little concerned Kim will just announce her retirement if it is announced for down town based on her strong statement of position on the issue. I just think she will feel dissed by Baylor and say ok I'm not important, I'm retiring.

Seriously is the visitor center more important than this? Speaking of long term thinking? That site seems to be perfect for this project.
Blue star for paragraph 3
PartyBear
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I'm sure she is but I'm thinking she is about ready anyway in a season or two to be honest. If she is ready anyway and she thinks Baylor's administration is being shxxty to her, I can see her just going ahead and deciding to do it.

As I said it is just a concern I have.

The bigger question speaking of long term strategic thinking whether the Hurd Welcome Center is more important than this new arena. That is the perfect site for the arena. The Welcome Center can go somewhere else can't it?
Edmond Bear
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PartyBear said:

I'm sure she is but I'm thinking she is about ready anyway in a season or two to be honest. If she is ready anyway and she thinks Baylor's administration is being shxxty to her, I can see her just going ahead and deciding to do it.

As I said it is just a concern I have.

The bigger question speaking of long term strategic thinking whether the Hurd Welcome Center is more important than this new arena. That is the perfect site for the arena. The Welcome Center can go somewhere else can't it?

I don't know anything but I'm guessing that Kim Mulkey is not going anywhere until McKenzie is ready to lead.

I also think she is a clear thinking adult and don't think she is so selfish that she would think that her voice should override all others. Not sure why people keep thinking she is a child and would think that way.

As far as the Hurd Center, I honestly don't know which is more important. The Howdy Hut is a critical gateway for NEW people (students, visitors, etc) who are not familiar with Baylor and don't know their way around. So, it has to be in a high-profile spot next to I-35 and provide an easy gateway to Baylor. There will be alot of golf carts departing from there.

The end-point of the Arena is public relations to grow the university through alumni relations, Waco relations, and media relations.

The end-point of Hurd is to onboard new students into the university which is pretty much the core purpose of the university.







PartyBear
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I dont anticipate a 7000 seat arena to be all that large a structure. It seems both could possibly fit on that parcel of land if you include the area the old IHOP is on. I'm not sure why a the Welcome Center would need to be so large it takes up that entire acreage.

Additionally I dont think Kim is the only person who thinks it should be on campus. I'm guessing at least half of Baylor people think it should be on campus. If she was the only one with that position, you would have a point about her voice overriding everyone elses.
CTbruin
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According to my "sacred" sources, the money is in place. Done.

And yes, the location is between the Ferrell Center adjacent property and next to the Robinson Tower. The City of Waco as made some proposals that are hard to ignore.
Edmond Bear
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CTbruin said:

According to my "sacred" sources, the money is in place. Done.

And yes, the location is between the Ferrell Center adjacent property and next to the Robinson Tower. The City of Waco as made some proposals that are hard to ignore.


If the money is in place because of the City of Waco's proposal, that might tell us something about the location.
PartyBear
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Edmond Bear said:

CTbruin said:

According to my "sacred" sources, the money is in place. Done.

And yes, the location is between the Ferrell Center adjacent property and next to the Robinson Tower. The City of Waco as made some proposals that are hard to ignore.


If the money is in place because of the City of Waco's proposal, that might tell us something about the location.

Probably so but wouldnt the city want it larger to try get some indoor concerts etc in downtown.? Or would it be a potential size changing venue (similar to the HOT) if down town. Eitherway regardless of location, the Waco tax payers are probably going to help with the bill. They did with McLane.
Ewalker80
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If the City of Waco proposal is the one Baylor chooses, it will require a massive and probably lengthy negotiation. The fact Baylor has a perfectly suitable alternative is great leverage in that negotiation. Baylor can further leverage that our enormously popular hall of fame women's basketball coach wants to reject Waco's proposal.
CTbruin
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Money is in place without Waco money
PartyBear
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Where was the big hotel, shopping center and restaurant development on the river supposed to go?
osogreen
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PartyBear said:

Where was the big hotel, shopping center and restaurant development on the river supposed to go?
Same site next to the Robinson Tower.

If Baylor accepts the city's offer I think the basketball arena becomes the centerpiece of the hotel/shopping/dining development and it will move forward quickly.
BellCountyBear
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osogreen said:

Looks like the site next to Robinson Tower is receiving serious consideration.

The "city" site would be a major addition to an area that's exploding with new development. I can envision a venue the city could utilize for additional events.

I'm okay with either location just get it built.
If the city wants it on that side of the highway so badly, they should help pay for it. Then use it however they want....including selling beer! Gasp!
3rd String Kicker
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It is confusing to some, but the proposed site next to Robinson Tower is a privately owned 6.5acres, not the city owned 14 acres just on the other side of that 6.5 acres. While the 6.5 acre site where apartments once were was once proposed as a hotel site, it is currently empty. It is between Robinson Tower and the 14 acre, $100m city owned land development that has been under construction for months now. Look up Catalyst in dfw to see renderings. At least three large apartment buildings, a parking garage, and the partial frame of another building are already up right now, though none are finished. The Trib has recent pics.
NeuroticBear
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CTbruin said:

Money is in place without Waco money
If true, I think this answers the question.
Swart Dra
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osogreen said:

"There really is no argument that makes sense for it on the other side of 35."

$$$$$$$ The City is willing to chip in some major money. Visibility from I-35. Private land all around for bars, restaurants, etc.

If done right it could be a major plus for both Baylor AND Waco.

The site is cleared. There's a park, boat cove and riverside walkway already in place.
PartyBear
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Swart Dra said:

osogreen said:

"There really is no argument that makes sense for it on the other side of 35."

$$$$$$$ The City is willing to chip in some major money. Visibility from I-35. Private land all around for bars, restaurants, etc.

If done right it could be a major plus for both Baylor AND Waco.

The site is cleared. There's a park, boat cove and riverside walkway already in place.


BU don't need money. Fact.


Baylor needed it for McLane. I thought the city was going to help out on this regardless of location. I could be wrong. It could be conditional on location. I thought the city threw in 50 million or so (perhaps more) for the new football stadium.
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