The Burton Family Football Complex is a hub for the University of Connecticut football team. The complex includes a dining hall which accommodates for the players’ complicated schedules and acts as the team’s primary dining hall.
Stephanie Reitz, university spokesperson, offered some information as to why a dining unit specifically for the football team is necessary. She said it ensures the players are able to get meals in between their hectic schedules.
“It is different in some ways to accommodate special scheduling needs for the student athletes who use it, and to comply with NCAA rules,” Reitz said in an email interview. “For instance, it opens earlier than other dining halls so students can eat breakfast before their morning practices. There is also a separate area in the practice facility where student athletes can get snacks as needed, in compliance with NCAA rules.”
Outside of having a dining hall, the Burton Complex houses several other facilities for the team and staff to use. The complex, built in 2006, holds training facilities, practice areas and offices.
“The Burton Family Football Complex houses coaches’ offices and includes an academic resource center, team meeting rooms, a team locker room, a state-of-the-art sports medicine area, video facilities, a team dining hall, a student-athlete lounge and an equipment room,” the facility’s website reads.
Although the Burton Complex is designed primarily for the UConn football team, Reitz said the Burton dining hall is open, if necessary, to other sports teams for usage.
“The UConn women’s basketball team also sometimes uses it for breakfasts and the men’s basketball team occasionally has meals there, although not often,” Reitz said.
Reitz said while non-athletes aren’t allowed to eat in the Burton dining hall, it does not differ greatly from the others across campus.
“It … is operated by UConn Dining Services and … its food is sourced from the same providers as other dining halls,” Reitz said. “The menus and most specific dishes are similar or identical to those provided elsewhere.”
For almost two decades, the Burton Complex has provided the UConn football team with state-of-the-art facilities and all the necessary resources needed to produce successful students-athletes in one place. Robert G. Burton, whose son was the captain of the 1999 UConn football team, donated $2.5 million to the university to build it, according to the facility’s website.
“Having an easily accessible dining option in the practice facility is valuable because student athletes’ schedules can be challenging,” Reitz said. “This allows UConn to help them meet their practice and training obligations without the need to leave to find dining elsewhere.”