Published Friday, July 12, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 9:49 am
NU regents to consider new $20.4 million complex for Husker tennis, soccer

The former Nebraska State Fair Park campground could be the site of a new $20.4 million Nebraska Soccer and Tennis Complex.

If the Nebraska Board of Regents OKs the project at its July 18 meeting, the facility would be the new home for the Husker soccer and tennis teams.

The soccer stadium would seat 2,500 fans and open in August 2014, while the tennis complex – scheduled to be completed in January 2015 – would include 12 outdoor courts and six indoor courts and room for 1,400 fans.

Dressing rooms for all teams, meeting areas, tennis coaches' offices and an equipment storage house are also proposed for the land.

Found in the Board of Regents meeting agenda, the proposal from NU Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst and UNL Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Christine Jackson says that private donations will cover the entire cost of both facilities. The annual operating cost of both facilities is listed at $275,000.

"Combined with new features and amenities for spectators, the new Nebraska Soccer and Tennis Complex will greatly enhance training, competition, recruiting, and fan amenities and will be a major attraction for Husker fans for years to come," the proposal reads.

NU hopes to have the ability to host the Big Ten Tournament, according to the proposal, and "enhance the recruiting path" of all three teams.

The Nebraska women's tennis team won the Big Ten last season. The men's tennis and women's soccer teams both finished in the bottom half of the league. NU does not field a men's soccer team.

The proposed site is bordered on the south by Salt and Oak Creeks and on the north by Cornhusker Highway. It's north of the revamped Bob Devaney Sports Center and NU's yet-to-be finished Innovation Campus.

If approved, construction would start May 2014 on 28 acres of land previously occupied by the campground.

Current facilities for the soccer and tennis programs are among the poorest in the Big Ten.

The Nebraska soccer team has been playing at the Nebraska Soccer Field at Ed Weir Stadium since 2005. It is the smallest competition field and the only field without lighting in the conference. Its buffer zones do not meet NCAA regulations.

Little seating, parking, concessions and restrooms have contributed to smaller crowds at the soccer stadium, NU says.

The tennis team plays on courts located on-campus and shared with UNL Campus Recreation. The outdoor courts lack a scoreboard and proper lighting and are undersized for tournament play. The team practices at an off-campus indoor site.

Calls to NU coaches and athletic officials were not returned Thursday evening.

World-Herald staff writer Samuel McKewon contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: Lizzie Johnson    |   402-444-1037    |  

Lizzie is a breaking news reporter, which basically means all things weather- or crime-related.



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >