WACO, Texas (December 21, 2021) – Baylor University and the City of Waco announced a first partnership agreement on the riverside location of the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion, which, like its football predecessor, McLane Stadium, will be in the most visible of the growing Riverfront neighborhood.

The new $ 185 million home for the Baylor Championship men’s and women’s basketball teams will be located along the Brazos River on the west side of Interstate-35, adjacent to the Clifton Robinson Tower of the ‘University, which will remain. The project is part of a planned $ 700 million investment along the riverside on University Parks Drive, from I-35 to Franklin Avenue.

The announcement comes after Baylor’s board of directors unanimously approved the final project budget of $ 185 million on Monday, as well as the scope and site selection for the Foster Lodge, while city council de Waco voted tonight to approve $ 65 million for the versatile basketball facility. . Under the memorandum of understanding, the University and the City will have until March 1, 2022 to negotiate and sign a final agreement.

The scope of the Foster Pavilion project will include:

  • A 245,000 square foot facility
  • Seating for 7,000 fans, with additional standing areas for around 500 spectators
  • Two separate premium club spaces in a combined area of ​​8,500 square feet
  • Two 2,000 square foot video end panels
  • Visit of the changing rooms with the possibility of accommodating two to four teams
  • Development center for the Baylor Championship women’s and men’s basketball teams, comprising:
    • Private entrance and lift, separate training grounds, dedicated locker rooms and team lounges
    • Office facilities for each coach and administration
    • Shared spaces related to athletic performance including strength and conditioning, athletic training / treatment, hydrotherapy, nutrition and more
  • Arena upgrades / fittings to support additional events, such as concerts, performances and public events including stage rigging, full catering kitchen and cooking capacity, additional changing rooms for artists and associated offices.

Under the MOU, the Town of Waco and Baylor are to negotiate and execute a Facilities Use Agreement granting the Town 90 calendar days for concerts, performances and other public events in a manner that does not ” not conflict with basketball operations or college priorities. .

Construction of the Foster pavilion is scheduled to begin in June 2022 with an early opening of the pavilion scheduled for January 2024. The opening of the development center is scheduled for April 2024.

The schedule for the Foster Pavilion is working favorably with the Texas Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of the I-35 main tracks through Waco, which is expected to be completed in early 2023. The I-35 project also includes significant improvements to walkways, lighting and roads along university parks. Drive and 4th / 5th Streets which lead from the Baylor campus to the new Foster Pavilion. This will be good news for students who live in student accommodation on campus, the majority of which are located closer to the future Foster Pavilion than Baylor’s existing Ferrell Center. Additionally, with the future Baylor-Waco partnership, Baylor basketball game days can expect multi-agency support for traffic, pedestrians and public safety.

The pavilion will complete the Town of Waco Riverfront development, which is currently in its first phase of construction. The Pavilion phase of the project will result in the addition of more than $ 160 million in private investment to create new apartment units, riverside restaurants and at least 600 new parking spaces in addition to the more than 400 already under construction in the Riverfront area. As part of the overall development, additional phases and real estate will be developed in the region in a way that could result in a total investment of over $ 700 million.

Quotes about leaders:

Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.:
“The Town of Waco has been an invaluable partner of Baylor University for over a century, and we are delighted to move forward together on the spectacular riverside location of the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion. This announcement is a first step, but it is important. The Foster Lodge will host our men’s and women’s basketball championship programs in a highly visible area of ​​remarkable growth and development along the Brazos River, I-35 Freeway and University Parks Drive. We are honored to be a part of the exciting developments in the city that Baylor calls home. “

Waco Mayor Dillon Meek:
“When fully constructed, this project will be the largest economic development project in Waco’s history and will undoubtedly transform the face of downtown Waco. He embodies what Waco is today: a spirit of collaboration, big dreams and a genuine commitment to ambitious actions. There is no city in Texas with more opportunity – from our local entrepreneurs, artists and small businesses to companies like Space X and Amazon – Waco’s economy and culture are on the move. This project illustrates that Baylor University’s partnership with Waco is as strong and collaborative as ever before, and I have the privilege of walking alongside such remarkable leaders. “

Vice President of Baylor and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack B. Rhoades IV:
“We are incredibly grateful for the city’s immense support. The Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion will undoubtedly be one of the most important basketball facilities in the country – ideally positioned on the banks of the Brazos in Waco, Texas. Facilities like this don’t happen by accident. It takes a shared vision and commitment to excellence for our athletic department and our 500+ student-athletes, the Baylor family and the City of Waco. Elite programs deserve an elite facility and today marks a significant milestone in realizing that vision. – state-of-the-art facilities will create an exciting, one-of-a-kind environment for our students and fans. The future is bright for Baylor and Waco. “

Waco Town Manager Bradley Ford:
“The Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion aligns with more than four decades of vision for riverside development and benefits our community with activated spaces that will draw people downtown and provide access and enjoyment to all our residents and visitors. It captures the city’s desire to use the riverside for recreation, economic development, and neighborhood activities. This project has a total investment potential of over $ 700 million on the site, including a revitalized promenade, additional restaurants and the possibility of a hotel space. We are thrilled with this opportunity to work alongside our longtime partner, Baylor University. “

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Baylor University is a privately owned Christian university and nationally ranked Research One institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community to over 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for pedagogical excellence and faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Established in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and over 90 countries to study a wide range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Known for being a great place to live and work, the city of Waco offers many economic opportunities and cultural experiences. A city located in the heart of Texas on the I-35 corridor midway between Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, Waco is a progressive and diverse city with a vibrant community spirit offering major attractions, museums, entertainment, and shopping. The 25th largest city in Texas and the seat of McLennan County, Waco is also the birthplace of Dr Pepper, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. One of the highlights of the community is the iconic Waco Suspension Bridge, spanning the beautiful Brazos River. The bridge sits near the entrance to Cameron Park, on 480 acres of a unique municipal park located in the heart of the city. The city of Waco also boasts the award-winning Cameron Park Zoo and the Waco Mammoth National Monument and hosts many annual events. Waco is home to two of Waco’s most visited sites in the Magnolia Market at Silos and Magnolia Table.

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