By Yasmene Warren
The University of Central Florida launched a fundraising initiative in March 2022 called Mission 12, and it strives to successfully transition the university into the Big 12 conference, as well as lay out its vision for the future. Let’s see what has been accomplished since its launch!
Mission XII Objectives
According to the UCF Knights website, Mission 12’s objectives are as follows:
To fully support our student-athletes in their NIL (name, image and likeness) endeavors.
To provide championship-caliber services to our student-athletes in their educational and career pursuits.
To position UCF Athletics to win conference and national championships.
To successfully transition UCF Athletics into the Big 12 Conference.
To increase the UCF Athletics operating budget to be in the top half upon entry into the Big 12, then target top third.
To maximize self-generated revenue through ticket sales/premium seating, ChargeOn Fund support, corporate partnerships, licensing and other avenues.
To deliver unique, indigenous athletics facilities for all student-athletes and fans, starting with the UCF Football Campus.
Since UCF Athletics launched Mission 12, the university has carried out numerous updates to its facilities, such as the Wharton-Smith lobby, the women’s basketball player lounge and locker room, the men’s basketball locker room, the volleyball player lounge and locker room, the venue weight room, John Euliano Park, the UCF softball complex, the soccer corridor and the football lounge.
There are also nine other facilities that have been updated or have been in-progress since 2022.
What is the Big 12 Conference?
The Big 12 Conference is a conference that consists of 14 universities that participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.
Currently, its members include Baylor University, Brigham Young University, University of Cincinnati, University of Houston, Iowa State University, University of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Texas Christian University, University of Texas, Texas Tech University, University of Central Florida and West Virginia University.
In June of 2022, it was announced that UCF would end its membership with the American Athletic Conference and transition to the Big 12 Conference in 2023. UCF leaves the AAC with more conference titles than any other program in the history of the league, said Terry Mohajir, UCF vice president and director of athletics.
Now, the time has come for UCF to take the necessary steps to prepare for its transition to the Big 12, and it will do so with Mission 12.
What This Means for UCF
UCF has divided Mission 12 into two phases. Here’s what kinds of changes will be occurring, according to the UCF Knights website:
Sharon & Marc Hagle Gateway
“The Sharon & Marc Hagle Gateway will not only change the way we recruit and operate, it will create a brand new activation area on gameday, and an additional grand entry into FBC Mortgage Stadium.”
“Featuring the recovery river and hydrotherapy pools for UCF student-athletes. McNamara Cove will also be the home of Covegating on football gamedays, recruiting and alumni events, and corporate outings.”
“A new tropical entrance and tailgate zone at FBC Mortgage Stadium.”
Football Operations Building
“A new state-of-the-art building that will house:
“Renovation of the existing Wayne Densch Sports Center including a new football locker room, weight room, training room and other team facilities is also a part of Phase I.”
Sharon & Marc Hagle Gateway (left) and McNamara Cove (right)
New West Side Tower
“This new tower will be home to the Launch Club, suites, and countless new, unique premium seating opportunities. The size and structure of the tower will also help create much needed shade for significant parts of FBC Mortgage Stadium.”
UCF expects its operating budget to increase from $72 million this year to approximately $90 million as its first year as a member of the Big 12.
When UCF becomes a full-share member of the Big 12 in fiscal year 2026, the university will get an equal share of the conference revenue distributions as the existing members currently do.
Images by the University of Central Florida: Mission XII Project
UCF certainly has some big shoes to fill being the youngest university to be inducted into the Big 12, but with continuous support from its students, faculty, alumni and fans, it will have no trouble doing so and making sure each objective in Mission 12 comes to fruition!
East Orlando is a geographical area of the city that is home to the University of Central Florida. It is in close proximity to Oviedo, Winter Park and Winter Springs and has popular areas such as Waterford Lakes and Avalon Park. Although it’s mostly known for being a college town, East Orlando is still a cozy suburb with thriving restaurants, retailers and local businesses.
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