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Cal Poly announces plans for ‘John Madden Football Center’ at Spanos Stadium

John Madden Football Center
Rendering of proposed John Madden Football Center at Cal Poly's Spanos Stadium. (Image courtesy of Cal Poly)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly, along with the family of the late John Madden, announced Saturday night plans to create a new state-of-the-art facility for its football program that will be named in his honor.

During halftime of the football team's home game with Sacramento State, university officials, along with Madden's wife Virginia, and other family members, publicly revealed the vision to create of the John Madden Football Center.

The $30 million project will be a transformational addition to the program, putting it in line with other top facilities at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

The 30,000 square, two-story building will be located at the south end of Alex G. Spanos Stadium, and will include a locker room, hall of champions, strength and conditioning facilities, team meeting room and lounge, coaches offices and more.

“It shows that we’re not just an incredible university with a great academic history, but also that we’re committed to building a championship-level football program,” said Cal Poly football coach Beau Baldwin. “We had the opportunity to watch a few football games with John, and it was amazing to listen to him talk about the game — after all those years as a commentator, deep down he was still a coach first. Ultimately as a coach you’re a teacher, and he wanted to do something special to really help our players develop.”

The new center will be made possible through support from the Madden family, which has supported the project through the lead donation.

"We are certain the John Madden Football Center will be a transformative facility that elevates every aspect of Mustang football,” said Mike Madden. “It will be a centralized home for the entire football community — a state-of-the-art facility for current and future Mustangs, designed to develop their physical and mental skills and provide a place to gather with teammates to study or relax. Further, it will afford coaches regular interaction with current Mustangs, while also being an attraction to help recruit the best future players.”

The university said 80 percent of the funding for the new center has been secured, with the remaining $6 million still needed to raised. 

“Cal Poly Athletics, and specifically the Football Program, is the front porch of Cal Poly," said Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong. "Investing in the program where alumni and the local community can be proud of their achievements will lead to a deeper engagement and nurture a pride that provides alumni more reasons to come back to Cal Poly. And as we planned the facility, Coach Madden was focused first and foremost on the health, well-being and overall experience of football players. This will be a facility for our student-athletes, designed and planned by the best coaches.”
John Madden played football and baseball at Cal Poly in the late 1950's before moving on into coaching and later broadcasting.

Madden, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, died last December at the age of 85.

The new John Madden Football Center is expected to open in two years.

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Article Topic Follows: College Sports
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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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