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Washington-Grizzly Champions Center Opens DoorsState-of-the-art training facility serves all varsity athletes
What has been a dream of hundreds, if not thousands, of Grizzly student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans over the decades is now a reality.
On a chilly Friday afternoon during Homecoming weekend, the ribbon officially was cut on the Washington-Grizzly Champions Center – a 51,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art training facility for all 15 of UM’s varsity programs. It includes a new football locker room and more – ushering in a new championship standard for Grizzly Athletics.
The project started with a grand vision and a $7 million lead gift from Kyle and Kevin Washington on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation in 2014.
“This is a wonderful moment for any Grizzly fan and the Missoula community,” says Kevin Washington. “It's been something we talked about growing up here, going to high school and college here.”
“Hopefully what we've contributed here – the Washington-Grizzly Champions Center – will get this program back to truly a champion level,” he adds. “That's our goal, and it starts here.”
With the Washington’s lead gift, UM Director of Athletics Kent Haslam and his staff set out to capture the attention of Grizzly supporters and donors around the country and finally put dreams to paper and shovels to dirt.
“To say this is a program-changing day is an absolute understatement,” Haslam says. “What started as a concept, a vision of what could happen, a vision some thought just couldn't be done, couldn't fit in this space, couldn’t be done on budget, on time. Well, guess what, folks? We did it.”