The R. Kirk Landon Fieldhouse -- the new headquarters of FIU football -- is getting its final touches in these next few weeks and will be ready for use by your Panthers in July.
Here's the first part of our 3-part tour as we take you through most of the first floor of the FH. Since the FH is still under construction the photos you are about to see may or may not give you a good sense of the inside of the building, but you decide.
When everything is painted and the toys to the FH start arriving, we'll have another set of tours in July for you. For now enjoy what's the going on in the FIU fieldhouse. **Click on each photo to enlarge it.**
Before we take you inside the FH, here on the right is a rendering of what the facade of the FH will look like and here on the left is what the facade looks like right now. The first drawing in the photo on the right is what the west side of the FH will look like, that's where the windows looking into the humongous weight room are located. The second drawing in the photo on the right is looking at the FH from the north side (the side where FIU's game day tailgating takes place which is SW 17 Street). So as you can see there are 2 different drawings of the same FIU logo on 2 different sides of the FH.
Located just to the right of the lobby of the FH is the ticket office. As we approach the lobby -- which will be the main entrance to the FH -- here below left of the photo of the current facade of the FH is a shot of some ticket windows.
Located in the lobby will be an FIU merchandise store and a temporary FIU Hall of Fame. When we went to the FH on Monday the store was under construction, but here on the left are a couple of photos of the skeleton of the store. The first photo shows an open rectangular window of the store (obviously, they will put glass in there once it's ready). And the second photo, to the right of the first store photo is looking at the lobby from inside the store.
The reason the FIU Hall of Fame will be temporarily located in the FH is because the plans are to eventually make a permanent FIU Hall of Fame inside the future Alumni Center (don't have a date for you on when the AC will be built). The AC will be attached to the east side of FIU Stadium. For now, Mike Lowell and co. will be housed on the first and second floors of the FH. Once we go up to the second floor of the FH, we'll give you some photos of the temporary HOF area.
Although most of the features of the FH, such as the exercise equipment have yet to arrive, there are some FH toys already in the building. For example, after Darriet Perry runs for 200 yards against Troy this season, he'll probably want to take a dip in the new whirlpools (photo, right). As of Monday, there were 2 pools in the building, might be more on the way. Of course, all the stuff covering the whirlpool will be removed for DP.
Hopefully, not too many of your Panthers will be regulars in the injury/rehab center inside the FH. Here on the left is a look at one of the 6 separate rooms for getting treatment. These are some of the storage cabinets. To the left of the cabinets (but not in the house yet) will be training tables and other medical supplies.
We gave you one photo in the previous blog previewing the sparkling 14,000 square foot weight room. Hopefully, the following photos give you a better sense of just how humongous the strength and conditioning room for ALL FIU athletes will be.
Here on the right is a photo taken by a professional photographer (Joe Rimkus, of the Herald). Joe asked for PG to stand near the NW corner of the weight room and Joe took the photo at a diagonal angle, which he says gives you the best view for how large the room is.
And then on the left we have 2 photos from an amateur photographer (yours truly). These 2 pics on the left are from the NE corner of the weight room. The 1st pic is from the entrance of the weight room and maybe you can tell how far south the room extends to or maybe you can't because I took the photo.
The 2nd photo might give you a better view of all the windows of the weight room. So if you want to see how much your favorite FIU athlete squats, here's where you can check it out from.
On the next tour, we'll take you inside your Panthers locker room and show you some of the features of the room that can be seen now. We'll also take you down the tunnel that your Panthers will storm out of as they run onto the FIU Stadium field to sounds of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" before the home opener against Toledo on Sept. 26 and every other home game after that.
FIUFPL: Pete, what does this all mean for Phase 2. Is that even on the drawing board within the next 5 years?
PP: The next step is getting the north side and student support complex done. Building an upper deck to get the stadium's capacity to 45,000 will depend on attendance and support for the program.
FIUJM: Pete, any news on Hardaway joining the coaching staff? Was reading the sports section today and towards the end of the newspaper it had list of local kids that got drafted last week by ML baseball team...I can't believe someone put that Ryan Mollica was from the University of Miami and drafted by the Mets. Very sad!!!!
PP: Not yet, but it is a good possibility. Last time, I spoke with IT, he said he wanted to have his coaching staff filled out by the end of July. The error regarding Mollica in the paper was fixed today. Maybe, it was that they wanted Mollica across town, because he hit better than any 2nd baseman from the Coral Gables school. By the way, Mollica became a New York Met yesterday when he signed with the team.
Quijote: Pete, The 2009 Gold Cup is quickly upon us. Miami is a host city for the tournament, games will be played at FIU Stadium. What new phase 2 implementations will be ready by then to show off on the national and international television transmissions? When will tickets go on sale?
PP: What you see right now at FIU Stadium is what will be shown off. Tickets have been on sale for a couple of months now. You can buy tickets HERE
FIU Fanatic: Any news about Noel?....or do we have to wait until tomorrow?
PP: Noel is expected to make a decision on Friday.
It's not painted yet and a lot of the furnishings are not inside yet, but what are your initial thoughts about the new FIU Fieldhouse....