College sports “arms race” makes construction a constant on many campuses

One of the few “recession-proof” industries? College sports construction.

ESPN has a really interesting piece on what they call the college sports “arms race.” Recruiting college athletes, particularly in football, has become a national spectacle and it’s never been more important to impress high-level recruits with the best facilities.

Brian Bennett reporting for ESPN:

College sports is a carnival of construction, as schools continue to build bigger, nicer, more state-of-the art facilities for their teams. Go around to just about any power conference campus these days, and you’re likely to see as many cranes, hard hats and barrier fences around sports fields as you are students.

Because of that, colleges and universities spent $15 billion between on building projects, according to the article, financed by the gobs of TV money these schools are receiving along with generous donations from boosters and alumni.

The article gives a nice run-down of the kinds of construction going on at various schools and raises the question whether or not this type of construction is an unfair advantage to some schools.