A family’s generous donation to UNLV Athletics will help build the school’s new football complex.
According to UNLV, the $10 million gift from the Fertitta family Tuesday is the largest single gift in its history.
“We believe in the future of Rebel Football under Tony Sanchez’s leadership and are proud to join others in the community in helping make this vital building block for the program become a reality., the Fertitta family said in a statement.
The state-of-the-art football training facility will be known as the Fertitta Football Complex.
The 73,000-square-foot complex will be two-levels. It will be built on campus in the north end of the team’s practice area and overlook the Ernie Becker Sr. Football Fields at Bill “Wildcat” Morris Rebel Park.
UNLV Athletics says the Fertitta Football Complex will become the day-to-day home of the program and include an academic center, locker rooms, offices, meeting rooms, strength and conditioning center, media room, training table, nutrition bar, athletic training center and player lounge.
Another gift, called the lead gift, of $2 million announced in late May, was previously the largest ever earmarked for UNLV Football. It came from a donor who wished to remain anonymous.
“This is a day that will be long remembered at UNLV as it is the day that Rebel Football officially takes the next big step,” said UNLV Director of Athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy. “The lead gift we announced earlier this year got the ball rolling in this community, and we have had a lot of people step up in major ways in order to help this program begin to reach its full potential. I thank the Fertittas for their program-changing gift, and I know they join me in saying that we need more of the families of Southern Nevada to join the Rebels on this journey. We thought outside of the box when we hired Tony Sanchez as our head coach, and everyone is already seeing the outstanding results both on and off the field.”
With Tuesday’s naming rights announcement, more than $16 million has been pledged toward the project, which is expected to cost between $24-26 million. Construction on the complex will begin in early spring.
It will open to the student-athletes and staff approximately 10 months later.
The Fertitta name will not be new to campus buildings as the Frank & Vicki Fertitta Tennis Complex was opened in 1993 as the home of Rebel men’s and women’s tennis. Still one of the nation’s top such facilities, it was made possible by a gift of $1 million from the couple in 1989.
UNLV Head Coach Tony Sanchez thinks the Fertitta donation will just improve the future of the football program at UNLV.
“As I’ve said since the day I was hired here, I am excited about the future of this program and its limitless potential,” said second-year head coach Tony Sanchez. “I want to thank the Fertittas for not just this amazing gift but also for everything they do in the community. I also want to thank everyone else who has stepped up with significant and important contributions as they help us turn Rebel Football into a national program.”
The previous largest single gift to UNLV Athletics was $7.2 million from the Mendenhall Family toward the construction of the men’s basketball training facility in 2012.
“The Fertitta Family has been a longtime supporter of UNLV, and we are grateful for the incredible generosity they have demonstrated over the years, including today,” said UNLV President Len Jessup. “Having state-of-the-art facilities for athletics, particularly for football, contributes to the overall success of our programs and helps position the university for future realignment to a Power 5 Conference. Elevating UNLV Athletics is a critical part of our vision to become one of the best, top-tier public universities in the country.”
To view renderings of the Fertitta Football Complex go here.