I’m starting to think that Creighton fans are more jacked up than the players or coaches when it comes to the Bluejays’ proposed new basketball practice facility.
Yes, coach Greg McDermott and his players definitely were excited when it was announced last month that the school will build a new facility near the Ryan Center to replace the aging Vinardi Center. Since then, though, I’ve heard scarcely a peep about the project around the basketball offices.
Not so with the fans. I’ve fielded a question or two or three about the new venue on The World-Herald’s weekly Bluejay chats. In the past week, I’ve received a half dozen phone calls from fans wanting to know if there were any updates on the project.
“You’re kidding,’’ Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen said when told of the interest in the new gym.
Rasmussen’s advice to fans: be patient. Creighton is just beginning the process of getting bids from contractors on the facility. This is a design-to-build project, meaning that Creighton officials have some ideas on what they want included in the building.
The contractors will take those ideas, come up with an architectural design and cost estimate, and then submit bids to the university. Rasmussen said it could be two weeks or more before that process is complete.
Creighton’s board of directors must approve the project, and Rasmussen said the group will take no action until after the bids are back.
“They need to know the cost,’’ he said. “It wouldn’t make much sense to vote to approve the project and then find out it’s going to coast a couple million more than they thought.’’
Rasmussen said the final design also will help determine whether the facility is built north or south of the Ryan Center. Some fans already are agitated that building it south of the Ryan Center would detract from the entrance to Morrison Stadium.
Hard to say whether it would or wouldn’t, since no one knows what the final design of the building will look like yet.
A couple of other basketball-related points:
>> Everyone figured Creighton would show up prominently in most of the preseason rankings that will filter out between now and the start of the season. Still, did anyone figure the Bluejays would be holding down a No. 8 spot in any of the rankings? That’s where Lindy’s magazine puts Creighton.
>> Creighton’s season-opening game against North Texas won’t be the only meeting between the two schools. McDermott said this year’s meeting in Omaha is a “buy” game for the Bluejays, but the Bluejays and the Mean Green will play a home-and-home series in 2014 and 2015. The 2014 game will be played at North Texas, with the 2015 game in Omaha.