The Ole Miss Manning Center (Photo provided by CDFL)
The $45 million plus renovation of the Ole Miss Manning Center comes complete with new and expanded locker rooms, a barber shop, hydro tanks, plunge pools, a player’s lounge, a counseling space for both mental health and nutritional needs, and more.
With the 2023 college football season just a month away, Head Coach Lane Kiffin and his Ole Miss Rebels are beginning preparations for the season with fall camp. Luckily for the Rebels, they will have significantly improved facilities this season. Specifically, their indoor practice facility, locker rooms, weight facilities and more have been undergoing a massive facelift, expanding from 181,000 to 221,000 square feet.
This past Friday, the team unveiled the completed renovations that have been underway since January 2022.
The Manning Center received a $45 million plus upgrade which includes a new and expanded locker room complete with a barber shop, hydro tanks, plunge pools, and a player’s lounge. Each player’s locker now comes with a zero-gravity reclining chair and a personal tablet for relaxation.
The renovation also includes an NIL studio for student-athletes to create or manage their brand image, an addition that could soon become common across the country.
The locker room isn’t the only part of the Manning center to see improvement. For preparation and conditioning, the weight room has been expanded by roughly 15%. Players will have access to new recovery options, including hydrotherapy chambers, a sensory deprivation tank, new concussion rehabilitation technology, and a counseling space for both mental health and nutritional needs.
In addition, all of the major practice areas and meeting rooms in the facility were reworked, including a new lineman dedicated walk-through room equipped with sequenced projectors.
“It’s awesome to be in here,” Coach Kiffin said. “Again, donors did a great job raising the money to build it. We were in that transition period a long time, all last season being over there. Even our players haven’t really had a locker room for a long time. It’s really exciting and I’m sure that falls into success you say you’re seeing with high school recruiting, too. The ones prior to this came and visited and didn’t see anything. Now it’s real.”
Speaking of recruiting, the facility does include a new recruiting space featuring photo opportunities for recruits considering donning the Powder Blue. Recruits will also have access to a newly dedicated theater room, in addition to numerous visuals that celebrate the history of Ole Miss football. This new state-of-the-art facility is now one of the best in the nation and should provide a big boost for the Rebels’ chances of landing top recruits.
The facility upgrades are part of the university’s “CHAMPIONS. NOW.” campaign. This project was announced in December 2021, along with upgrades to Vaught-Hemingway stadium, which are on hold for now.
According to Coach Kiffin, the project is a big step for the program in regard to equipping their players with the best experience and resources while showing recruits the university’s commitment to football success.
More about the renovated Manning Center
Jackson-based architecture firm CDFL Architects & Engineers was the lead on the project. CDFL has provided full design services and master plans on new sports facilities in the Big 10, Southeastern, Big 12, Missouri Valley, Conference USA, Sun Belt, and Southwest Athletic Conferences. Each project focuses on amplifying both team and fan experiences.
“It’s been an honor to continue the legacy at Ole Miss that David Lemons started in 1986,” said Matthew Buchanan, Principal & CDFLsports Studio Leader, in a statement to Magnolia Tribune.
According to CDFL, the project created an additional 28,000 square feet of facility amenities while renovating another 63,300 square feet of existing spaces. CDFL teamed with world-renowned athletic performance center experts, HOK, to enhance the new sports medicine, weight room, and meeting room spaces. The weight room has been moved to a new location and increased in size and height. Positions meeting rooms increased in size while a dedicated Defensive meeting room was added. Player plunge pools and new equipment displays were also added to the locker room. Several features were implemented to enhance players’ mental well-being, including adding several windows and skylights to brighten the double-height corridor, opening up the operations offices, and connecting players to the outside world.
Keith Carter, Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics, expressed his excitement in reopening the Manning Center, noting the university’s desire for it to be a source of great pride for Olivia, Archie, and the rest of the Manning family.
“The new Manning Center is another example of our commitment to providing our student-athletes and coaches with the resources necessary to compete at a championship level,” Carter added.