“We now anticipate that the indoor (football) practice facility will be complete in September and the soccer/lacrosse stadium will be complete in November,” Bunting said.
Football construction is at a delay, putting pressure on the program. If the indoor practice facility is not substantially completed by Sept. 1, 2018, head football coach Larry Fedora has an option to terminate his contract without cause or having to pay liquidated damages to the school. When reached for comment, Cunningham stated the project would be substantially done by that time.
The cost of the football practice facility and the renovation of Fetzer field was raised 22 percent as of July of 2017, according to the News and Observer. The price was initially expected to be $55 million, but rose to more than $67 million.
For the men’s and women’s soccer teams, it marks the second consecutive year where the teams are displaced from their permanent home.
The Daily Tar Heel reached out to men's soccer head coach Carlos Somoano and women's soccer head coach Anson Dorrance for comment. Somoano did not respond, but Dorrance released a statement through Associate Athletic Communications Director Dave Lohse on Wednesday afternoon.
"My seniors wanted to finish their careers on campus," he said. "I respected that entirely. Also, I am very proud of our new training facilities down at Finley and wanted to show them off to the campus, the community and all our fans.
"Next year I want to try to sell out our new stadium; and trust me, it will be so tight down there at Finley, we are making it a tough ticket even before the stadium officially to encourage people to get there early and create a fantastic atmosphere for our players!!!"
Last year, the two teams practiced at Finley Fields and played the majority of home games in Cary at WakeMed Soccer Park, home of North Carolina FC, a team in the United Soccer League.
Both the men’s and women’s teams fared well at the home-away-from-campus, with the men’s squad posting a 11-2 record and the women’s team posting a 6-1-2 clip.
But as stated by Dorrance above, the women's team will play at Finley Fields South this year and Bunting reiterated that statement.
“It will be similar to what we did last year,” Bunting said. “Everyone has been without a home facility for a season. So soccer will play on the road — those details are still being worked out. We’re going to be able to play some of our games at the practice facility at Finley Fields and a combination of road venues will handle the rest of our competition.”
The men's team has not yet announced its schedule, but the women's schedule lists that all home games will be played at the practice fields in Chapel Hill, located near the golf course.
The delay for Fetzer Field is less than ideal, but Bunting said he has been in communication with the coaches to make sure they are well informed during the process.
“They are completely informed about project schedules,” he said.
The delays have clearly affected everyone involved, including Bunting, and he stated his desire to have the projects finished in a timely fashion.
"This is the kind of thing that keeps people like me awake at night trying to think of ways to get this done sooner rather than later," Bunting said. "We don’t want to have to displace all this programming for anyone."
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