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Ole Miss unveils $150 million capital campaign


Ole Miss Athletics announced two phases of facility enhancement that could lead to championships, Athletics Director Pete Boone said.

The vision set for University of Mississippi athletics was unveiled Tuesday at the South Endzone club at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Boone called the day a landmark event for Ole Miss Rebel fans.

“The $150 million facilities initiative will be the cornerstone of future championships for the flagship university of this great state.” Boone said. “Coming off of two consecutive years of record-breaking athletics giving, there is no better time than now.”

Boone went on to say, “The path we have chosen will lead to championships. And the path we have chosen, we can do. Every bit of support will be critical to the success of creating these championship-level facilities.”

Danny White, the executive director of the UMAA Foundation, said that the capital campaign, Forward Together, calls for everyone to come together and help reach that goal.

White said the process started about a year ago with gathering information and preparation for the campaign. White also noted that Ole Miss is partnering with AECOM, a technology and management support firm, and Row 27, a web-based sports marketing firm.

The total plan is to raise $150 million. Phase one will dedicate $100 million toward building a new 10,000-seat basketball arena, as well as concourse-related renovations to the football stadium. The remaining $50 million will be used to bowl in the North Endzone of the football stadium, bringing capacity to over 70,000.

“Our plan is to build a first-class, state-of-the-art basketball facility that will be home to our men’s and women’s baseball programs that our fans, coaches and student-athletes can be proud of,” White said of phase one of in a pre-recorded video shown to those in attendance.

“The Grove is the greatest tailgating atmosphere in college football,” White said. “We want to cater to that culture. We want to have a North Endzone plaza facing the Grove that will serve as an impressive front door to the football stadium.”

The goal is for the basketball arena and football concourse renovations and improvement to be finished by 2015-2016. The North Endzone addition would follow after that.

After the announcement, men’s basketball head coach Andy Kennedy discussed what the new arena will mean to his program.

“What this allows us, specifically as a men’s basketball program, is to say that we have obviously dealt with an aging facility and that facility has had issues from time to time,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said the transition will help with marketing Men’s Rebel Basketball.

“More than anything, it creates a unique game day experience for our fans, and I think we are the only sport currently that can’t create that, just based on the logistics of the age of our facility,” Kennedy said. “I think that it immediately addresses that and it obviously gives us something to sell to future Rebels.”

Forward Together will be the biggest campaign in Ole Miss history. To view renderings of the projects or to donate to the Forward Together campaign, visit www.ForwardRebelsTogether.com