Day three of our Charlotte trip was one for the books. We ended today on a high note, with the prestigious Duke University. When I think Duke University I think tailored suits, exclusivity, the best of the best, and basketball. The visit to Duke today was nothing short of that. Our bus pulled into the university around 2 PM this afternoon and we were greeted by skylines full of medieval style brick buildings but surrounding all of this were buildings after buildings of new construction taking form.
Due to massive amounts of donations from alumni, families, and fans, Duke is able to undertake renovations on almost all existing athletic facilities. In addition to that, they are also in the midst of constructing new facilities, a massive tower for their football stadium that will house a brand new press box, luxury suites, and training facilities. The university will also be adding a softball field to their facility due to the addition of a softball program beginning in the fall of 2016. But it was not only the new construction and renovations that were impressive, the existing structures exceed collegiate expectations and are a sight to be seen.
The football team, alone, has their own building including not only a player lounge stocked full with food, but a state of the art weight room, training facilities and a club museum where players and their families can reflect back on the history of the Duke football program while gazing out at the 35,000 capacity football stadium that was originally built in 1924, has recently been renovated and is currently undergoing construction. In addition to all of this they have the coolest tunnel leading from the football facility to the field. The tunnel is deck out in black lights, motivational quotes, artificial turf and Duke branding on every wall. When reaching the end of the tunnel, a wrought iron-like double door opens to lead the team on the field. What an entrance!
Overall, I was very impressed with the facilities at Duke. They held up against the high expectations I had for them. The facilities were prestigious and exclusive, just as I had imagined. The only thing that did not seem exclusive was the staff. They were very friendly and welcoming and truly made our visit one to remember.
–Student Reflection, Chryssi Attig, Undergraduate Sport Management Student