Richt, a former Hurricanes quarterback in the early 1980s, donated a $1 million out of his own pocket to make the facility a reality.
"It's phenomenal," Richt said. "It's great. It takes everybody to be great. And to raise that kind of money ... it's unprecedented around here."
James was quick to credit Richt for helping make it possible.
"We had one of our best years from an attendance perspective this past year in season ticket sales and we're ahead of the pace from this time last year and we should get up to 46,000-47,000 season tickets," he said.
James also noted the program will benefit from the $420 million renovation of Hard Rock Stadium, which houses the Miami Dolphins along with the 'Canes.
"We're in a great situation and a big part of that goes to the person leading our football program," James said. "He's exceeded our expectations."
Miami is coming off its best season since 2013, wrapping the 2016 campaign with nine wins and the program's first bowl victory since 2006.
Richt said he has been impressed by the way others have rallied to help him improve the football program.
"We've had tremendous support from our football alumni," he said. "We've had tremendous support from our fans. I feel like we've had tremendous support from the administration. Even our own players _ the buy-in — they're busting their tails. They're trying to be great."