Plans for new athletic facility revealed

Photos courtesy of | Xavier recently announced its plans for the construction of the Heidt Family Champions Center, which will house several varsity teams’ training facilities. Construction for the new building is set to begin in 2020.

O’Connor Sports Complex is ready to undergo a structural facelift.

Late last week, renovation plans were revealed that will transform the student recreational center into a training facility dedicated solely to Xavier athletic programs under its new name, the Heidt Family Champions Center.

The building will preserve the O’Connor Sports Complex moniker in honor of Reverend Paul O’Connor, an influential former Xavier president who made significant contributions to university athletics.

All of Xavier’s standing athletic facilities situated across Victory Parkway — including Hayden Field and the XU Soccer Complex — will also be encompassed under the O’Connor Sports Complex designation.

“There has been great success by our programs with less than top-level facilities, so I’m excited to see the strides we will all be able to make with these added resources,” baseball head coach Billy O’Conner said.

“From a baseball standpoint, the two biggest additions will be in the indoor turf space that we currently lack, and the new locker room,” O’Conner said. “We have had to work out of a gym, so to have space where we can get more game-like reps during the colder winter months will be a huge resource for us. And the new locker room will allow us to really put our stamp on the area where our guys spend so much time.

The center will be named after Dr. Robert Heidt, one of the main benefactors who donated to the cause of the project.

Currently, Heidt serves as a Vice-Chair of the Xavier University Board of Trustees and is heavily involved in the area practicing sports medicine.
Previously, he worked for St. Xavier High School and with the Cincinnati Bengals as a team physician.

The makeover falls in line with Xavier’s master plan to refurbish a variety of campus buildings that need updates.

According to, the project will cost $10 million and will house around 60 percent of Xavier’s athletic teams.

Major upgrades include new and improved areas for sport-specific activity, a pool for competitive use for the men’s and women’s swimming team and strength and conditioning/sports medicine spaces fully equipped with redesigned locker rooms for student athletes. Office space will also be built for Xavier coaches.

“We’re excited about all that the Heidt Family Champions Center will bring to our student athletes,” Xavier swimming head coach Brent MacDonald said.

“…We have a great opportunity through fundraising to further improve upon our specific aquatic space, and I look forward to helping make it a place our current swimmers and alumni will be proud to call home.”

The renovations to the O’Connor Sports Complex are scheduled to begin construction in 2020 after the new Health United Building (HUB), which is expected to open in 2019, is built.

By: Luke Feliciano | Sports Editor