EDINBURG — The home of UTRGV football was unveiled by the UTRGV athletics department Tuesday with the release of renderings of the Vaqueros Performance Center, a 45,000-square-foot facility that will be constructed north of UTRGV Baseball Stadium off Sugar Road.
The Vaqueros Performance Center will feature a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility, an academic success center, a football locker room, football coaches’ offices, two practice fields, a sports medicine facility, a team room with stadium-style seating and multiple meeting rooms.
“As we started this journey several years back, we knew there would be several, if not quite a few milestone days for our football program and sport expansion in general, and today is certainly one of those milestone days,” UTRGV Vice President and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque said. “As we unveil the renderings and plans for the Vaqueros Performance Center, I think just the visuals themselves paint the picture that this is transformation for our athletic program, obviously our football program giving them a primary home, a place that they will live and work and train as student athletes and coaches, but this is something that will serve our entire athletic department.”
Conque said UTRGV initially put pen to paper on the football facility, which turned into the Vaqueros Performance Center, in late 2019, early 2020.
Completion of the facility is expected by fall 2025 when UTRGV kicks off its inaugural college football season at the Division I level. Construction includes a pair of practice fields for football and soccer, one of which will be made of natural grass and one of synthetic turf, with completion expected by the summer of 2024 when UTRGV football begins its practice year.
“We’re excited it’s finally out in the open, especially because we’re about to hit the road recruiting in the next few weeks and it’s really had an impact with the guys we’re looking at,” Head Coach Travis Bush said. “It just shows the vision of our university, our administration, the commitment to excellence to make this place the best it can be.”
“This facility puts us in a different league within the Division I FCS landscape. It will be one of the nicest facilities in the country,” Conque said. “I think we’ve been wise with the way that we’re going to use our space. I think we’ve been wise in the way we’re going to have the ability to take care of other programs and utilize this across athletic programs. I can also tell you I know coach Bush is very excited to get to this day to where he can start sharing this with the world of college athletics, on the recruiting trail, with prospective student-athletes, because I think when people digest what’s being constructed on the north side of our campus here, it’s going to be impressive to them. This will not only serve our program well, but puts us in really good shape across the landscape of college athletics.”
The estimated construction cost of the Vaqueros Performance Center is about $45 million, according to a news release from UTRGV. It’s part of over $80 million in construction projects being completed by UTRGV athletics over the next two and a half years.
“You look at college athletics right now, you want to make sure we give our student athletes the best and we have to,” Bush said. “That’s the name of the game in recruiting right now. You got to have nice stuff and you got to have new stuff and that’s where student athletes want to go. As we’re looking in the details, we want to make their daily life the best. To be able to bring these guys in and knowing they’re going to have these facilities when they start playing games in 2025, it’s going to be, to me, an advantage in recruiting.”
The construction of the facility is funded by revenue streams within the athletic department including the Football Founders Society, corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and general fundraising outside of the Football Founders Society, which are all at record levels, according to Conque. In addition, UTRGV is closing in on nearly 1,700 season ticket deposits sold for the 2025 season.
“We’re very proud of that and we’re still raising funds for this project,” Conque said.
UTRGV also announced there are naming opportunities for all facilities, including the Vaqueros Performance Center. The opportunities include head coach and assistant coach offices, meeting rooms, the strength and conditioning facility, practice facilities, and each facility as a whole.
Season ticket deposits for the inaugural season of UTRGV football are still being accepted for $25 per ticket at UTRGVTickets.com.