University of Texas Facilities: Indoor Practice Facility ("The Bubble")
- Overview, accessibility and parking
- Physical address: 2601 Red River St., Austin TX 78705
During the 2002 season, the Longhorns' first-class program got an upgrade with the addition of yet another state-of-the-art facility within the Texas Football program. The Indoor Practice Facility -- or "The Bubble" as the players call it -- was one of the main reasons UT enjoyed another successful season. With the help of its new facility, the Horns posted their second consecutive 11-win campaign (a first in school history), the SBC Cotton Bowl Championship and a share of the Big 12 South title. Head coach Mack Brown credits part of the team's success in 2002 on the program's newest addition in the fall. Built at a cost of $4 million, construction on the facility began on May 14 and was completed five months later in time for the Longhorns' tough stretch of October road games. The remainder of the cosmetic construction -- brickwork, fencing and landscaping -- was completed six weeks later. Heery International, based out of Atlanta, served as the architect for the project. Hensel Phelps of Austin constructed the multi-purpose facility, while Yeadon Fabric Domes, Inc., added the three-layer outer bubble, which is inflated by a compressor. There also is a gas-based backup system that continually blows air in event of an extended power outage. The climate-controlled facility, which also is used by other UT athletics teams and the Longhorn Band, takes up more than 70,000 square feet and is 61 feet high at its peak. It has a full AstroPlay football field and a set of goal posts in the north end zone. Not only do the Longhorns now have full-squad workouts inside the new facility, but they also have worked on all phases of the kicking game, a much-needed luxury they did not have before last season.