As Ball State continues to make progress on a variety of projects around campus, potentially none are as important as what is going on next to Scheumann Stadium.
Last May, Ball State and its Board of Trustees approved a brand new $15 million, 84,000 square foot indoor practice facility, which is set to contain a regulation-sized turf football field, batting cages, and much more.
This summer, construction crews got to work on what it set to be a massive milestone for Ball State and its athletic teams. The brand new facility is set to be located south of Scheumann Stadium, next to the practice field on Bethel Avenue and scheduled to open in Summer 2021.
The Ball State football coaching staff is especially excited about construction beginning on the new facility. Offensive Coordinator Kevin Lynch called Ball State an ‘easy sell’ to players he is recruiting to play football at BSU, but he says it will be even easier now.
“Now that we have dirt moving on this brand new facility, our football facilities here will now be second to none,” Lynch said.
And despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, recruiting student-athletes to Ball State knowing a new facility with a regulation-size football field with a ceiling height of 65-foot, has already paid dividends.
Wide Receivers Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Alex Bailey, who was promoted to his position this spring, added the momentum of Ball State Football, along with the other massive construction projects across campus, is tangible with future recruits.
“A lot of people that we bring to Ball State, they’ll say it was much better than they thought or that they were impressed,” Bailey said. “This new indoor facility, and the many new projects on our campus, is going to continue to impress athletes we bring here.”
Ball State was the last school in the Mid American Conference (MAC) to build an indoor facility. Lynch believes Ball State will have the best facility in the MAC, which could prove to be a game-changer for the football team and other sports as well.
“Kids sometimes get blown away by facilities and stuff like that,” Lynch said. “Having an indoor building like this is very important for what we want to do now and in the future. It brings recruits in and is a great training mechanism.”
Recruiting players to play at Ball State will also be a much easier task, as Lynch noted that players want to use the best facilities available to them, and Ball State will have them when the facility is completed next summer.
The Scheumann Family Indoor Practice Facility will prove to be a vital addition to Ball State, as teams will now no longer have to cancel or postpone practice due to inclement weather. Football was forced to cancel or postpone practice over 30 times in the last three seasons.
“This is a big day in the history of Ball State football and Ball State University,” said Head Coach Mike Neu when the facility was announced. “I am grateful to the University leadership that recognized the need for this project and for their work to accomplish it.”
The Cardinals have made several strides forward under Neu’s leadership with the 2019 campaign the most memorable thus far. Ball State reclaimed the Bronze Stalk Trophy from Northern Illinois for the first time since 2008 with a come-from-behind 27-20 win over the Huskies in early October. The Cards then capped the year by knocking off eventual MAC champion Miami to earn the Red Bird Rivalry Trophy, 41-27.
Ball State’s offense was statistically the most explosive in the conference last fall. The Cardinals led the MAC in scoring (34.8 points per game) and total offense (463 yards per game). On defense, BSU forced turnover after turnover all year. The 24 forced turnovers were the most in the conference and ranked 15th nationally.
Those trends, combined with the addition of an elite indoor facility, have elevated Ball State Football in the recruiting race with several highly-rated commitments making their decisions known on social media this summer.
The facility is set to benefit all Ball State sports, however, as teams will likely never have to miss a practice again for weather-related reasons thanks to the new, state of the art facility.
The Scheumann Family Indoor Practice Facility will be conveniently located adjacent to the Fisher Training Complex on the current footprint of the grass practice fields. The space will be utilized by the football, softball, baseball and soccer teams during inclement weather.
It will also provide additional opportunities for the entire campus and broader community, including the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band.