A Hidden Gem — Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall

By Megan Maziar

When most of us think about Georgia football, we picture Stanford Stadium, our incredible 92,746-seat football stadium located in the center of the beautiful University of Georgia campus. Although our football players do spend a good deal of time between the hedges, most of their days are spent in Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, UGA’s state of the art football training facility. Like many UGA students, I always noticed this distinctive building located between Lumpkin and Rutherford street, yet I never knew what really took place inside.  A few weeks ago I had the chance to tour the facility with my friend Loren Smith, and I was absolutely amazed by what I saw. Butts-Mehre is truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and I wanted to try to give you all a glimpse inside.

Built in 1987, the Butts-Mehre building was named after two of Georgia’s most famous coaches, Wallace Butts and Harry Mehre. With a price tag of more than $12 million dollars, this facility is unsurpassed anywhere in the United States. The newly renovated 138,000 square foot building is made out of glossy black glass, erected on a base of red granite (cleverly done to match UGA’s colors – red and black), and is topped by a modernistic skylight, a portion of a geodesic dome.

There are four levels of the building, each more beautiful than the next. The lowest level houses the players’ headquarters where you will find lockers rooms, a giant weight room, a sports medicine facility equipped with two pools (one warm and one cold), equipment room, racquet ball court, and lots of meeting rooms for each position. There is also an inside turf practice field on the fourth floor and the locker rooms open out to the practice field complex, which consists of four full length fields

The second level of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall houses all coaches’ offices and conference rooms where staff members can meet together with individual players. The floor is divided up with the offensive staff on one side and the defensive staff on the other.  Coach Richt’s office is also on this floor and overlooks the practice fields. Lastly, this floor is the home of the Larry Munson Trophy Room, a display featuring many awards and trophies Georgia football has gathered through the years. In this room there is also a video display where fans can relieve some of Georgia footballs best moments by listening to Larry Munson’s famous calls.

The third and fourth floors house the administrative offices of the Georgia Athletic Association, but, more interestingly, these floors also serve as the Georgia Bulldog Hall of Fame. This is where many exhibits and memorabilia tracing the long and proud heritage of all Georgia’s athletic programs are kept. In addition, recently upgraded touch-screen displays containing video highlights of Georgia’s football history offer visitors another chance to relive great Bulldog moments.

If you are an avid Georgia Athletics fan, this facility is a must see. The building is open to the public Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm and you can order tickets online at http://www.georgiadogs.com/ot/geo-sports-hall.html.

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One Response to “A Hidden Gem — Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall on “A Hidden Gem — Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall”

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