On Thursday, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin joined Steve Russell on SportsScene to discuss a variety of Gator athletics.
— ESPN 98.1/ 850 WRUF (@ESPNGainesville) August 30, 2018
Stricklin, who has served as the AD for nearly two years, is optimistic about the future projects involving a few of the sports programs. He also talked about his confidence in head football coach Dan Mullen and the rest of his team.
Here are the highlights from Stricklin’s time on the SportsScene:
The Status of Facility Upgrades
Attendees of Florida football games received good news this month regarding Ben Hill Griffin Stadium’s WiFi capabilities. With over 1,100 wireless access points, the stadium will be able to provide better internet access for fans in the future.
Stricklin said the improved WiFi will be ready for the 2019-2020 season, but fans will probably be able to experience it as soon as this year:
While the enhanced internet capabilities will cost $6.3 million, the upgrades to the softball stadium are nearly double that figure.
According to Stricklin, Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium’s renovations have already begun. Those renovations, which will include a 360-degree open concourse and seating, will be finished by early 2019:
As it pertains to the other sport played on the diamond, Stricklin said the new baseball stadium will begin construction this fall. This stadium will feature an increased capacity of 10,000 spectators and various social areas.
Stricklin also noted that rises in prices of construction and materials have gone up in the past few months:
Looking Ahead to Gators’ Football
One of the bigger storylines in Florida sports this year is the anticipation over what Mullen can do in his first year with the football program.
As Stricklin saw firsthand in his six years as AD of Mississippi State, Mullen has proven that he can turn a team around. Stricklin expects Mullen to have the same kind of impact on the Gators that he had on the Bulldogs.
Along with facing Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida, the Gators will also be on the road against Tennessee, Mississippi State and Florida State this year. All of those games figure to be tough matchups for a team coming off a 4-7 season.
Despite the Gators rough 2017-2018 campaign and the teams they will face in the coming months, Stricklin is confident in the group of guys they have. He also expects notable improvements from Florida on the football field in Mullen’s first year.
Other News and Notes
- When a caller mentioned putting a roof over the football stadium, Stricklin said he has no plans for that type of renovation. He cited expenses and a desire to play in the elements as a couple of reasons as to why that hasn’t happened.
- To his knowledge, the SEC is not working on implementing nine football conference games into a team’s schedule. Stricklin is hoping for more variety, saying that he would like to play certain teams more often.
- Although season ticket numbers are down, single-game numbers are up. Stricklin does believe the October 6th home game against LSU will be sold out.