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Syracuse Breaks Ground On 'Necessary' Indoor Practice Facility

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A day after moving the 2013 season in the right direction with a 54-0 win over Wagner, Syracuse Football took a big step towards moving the entire program in the right direction by breaking ground on a new $13M indoor practice facility.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A day after moving the 2013 season in the right direction with a 54-0 win over Wagner, Syracuse Football took a big step towards moving the entire program in the right direction by breaking ground on a new $13M indoor practice facility.

On hand for Sunday's dirt-and-shovel ceremony were athletic director Daryl Gross; outgoing chancellor Nancy Cantor; football coach Scott Shafer; Richard Thompson, chair of the university's board of trustees, his wife, Jean; and former Syracuse great Floyd Little.

Thompson pledged $1 million earlier this summer to help get the project off the ground, and with a gold-plated shovel in hand, he dug into the dirt as a crowd of spectators sipped on glasses bubbling with Mionetto.

The facility itself is still nameless but the field will be named John F. Phelan Field, named for Jean Thompson's father, a member of the 1940 SU Football team who died in World War II.

The facility is expected to be ready to go for next football season with a target of 8-9 months. Scott Shafer drove home what makes the facility so necessary:

"It's been a necessity for a long time. I think there's a misconception we have the Dome, why would we need an indoor? Well, once our basketball team gets out there we really only have 50 or 60 yards of space, and you can't get work done there."

The ceremony was also an opportunity to take some time and remember Rob Edson, former SU admin and husband of SU assistant director of athletics for communications Sue Edson, who passed away over the weekend.