One way to help your football program when it's in a rebuild period is to physically rebuild their facilities, and Kentucky has done just that.
The Wildcats football team now gets to enjoy a state-of-the-art $45 million training facility that totals 100,000 square feet.
The athletics website released an article on it this morning, showing player reactions to seeing it as well as giving us more details. You'll definitely want to see their reactions, as they're something similar to a kid on Christmas morning.
@UKFootball Walked through the #NewFTC this morning. Take a look at their initial reaction #BBN #FINISH pic.twitter.com/hAvUEoTDNp— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) July 21, 2016
As you can see from the video, there's a new weight room, training room, locker room and team film room.
That new weight room is massive, and is sure to accommodate every player for team workouts.
#NewFTC weight room. Whoa. pic.twitter.com/sT0rtWN2T1— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) July 21, 2016
As for the locker room, it features ventilated lockers that will keep the room fresh, and those lockers have cup holders and phone chargers, both essentials for today's college student. It also comes with the massive media board that you saw in the center back wall, along with a couple of TVs.
Ventilated lockers to keep things fresh with phone chargers and even cup holders! #NewFTC pic.twitter.com/HkhXInA0Ql— UK Stoops Troops (@UKStoopsTroops) July 21, 2016
The film room looks quite a bit like an actual movie theater as you could see from the video, and it also sounds like one. The room's technology features high-quality sound and video so the players can make the most of their film sessions (they even get the THX audio intro).
Team Room or Movie Theater? High quality sound and video for highlights and film. #NewFTC pic.twitter.com/MNu5fLvK3P— UK Stoops Troops (@UKStoopsTroops) July 21, 2016
Those aren't the only great parts though, as this new facility features a beautiful lobby with a massive TV, smaller meeting rooms for position groups, a team dining area with "Chef Marty," and even a barber shop (yes, a barber shop).
DBs starting their tour in the lobby. #newFTC pic.twitter.com/yRUZiXlMcB— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) July 21, 2016
The @JacobTamme Tight End Meeting Room! Thanks, Jacob! #NewFTC pic.twitter.com/zONVytLxNj— UK Stoops Troops (@UKStoopsTroops) July 21, 2016
"Chef Marty," the Executive Performance Chef, will be serving plenty of meals in team dining area! pic.twitter.com/ziVxlR1FAi— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) July 21, 2016
"Just take a little off the top."— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) July 21, 2016
The barber shop at the #NewFTC is a hit. pic.twitter.com/PIWXyMcYzP
But all the upgrades aren't just for the players. There's been plenty of work done to make the coaches feel right at home as well. Head Coach Mark Stoops has a new office overlooking the practice field, and there's a new meeting room for coaches and other staff.
The view from @UKCoachStoops' new digs. #NewFTC pic.twitter.com/mwgaeWjPvW— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) July 21, 2016
Reception area for coach/staff offices -- check out the reclaimed Kentucky barn wood on the wall! pic.twitter.com/FSfDmujO6i— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) July 21, 2016
Perhaps the best part about this first unveiling is that several of the players expressed their gratitude to AD Mitch Barnhart and University President Eli Capilouto as they began to take in their new training home. It's good to see that they're showing thanks.
Group 3 walking in the new facility. Several players go straight to @UKYpres and @UKMitchBarnhart to say thanks. pic.twitter.com/e2rWUeCTIs— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) July 21, 2016
Now many will question whether or not this place is going to make the team play better, and I'd say that's a good question, but I'd also answer yes. In the SEC, every school has state-of-the-art football training facilities and equipment, and if you're not ahead of the curve you'll quickly find yourself falling behind.
This facility will allow Kentucky's team to be at its best. The new weight room gives them the best place to get stronger, and the new meeting and film rooms will allow them to relax in comfort as they study up on their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as opponents' strengths and weaknesses.
On top of that, the new training rooms and locker rooms are going to make them right at home in this massive facility. Not only will it help current players, but it'll be a huge recruiting tool for Mark Stoops, letting potential Wildcats see the incredible facilities that they could have at their disposal should they come to Lexington.
Heck, it's already paid benefits with the recent camps that UK hosted this past weekend. There were a host of four-star prospects and many players holding high-major offers. It was called by some the most talented group of recruits UK has ever had, so if nothing else, the new facility is helping draw elite recruits to Lexington. Just getting great players to visit has been a tough ordeal for Kentucky Football in the past, but not anymore.
With the renovations made to Commonwealth Stadium previously, and now this massive new training facility, Kentucky football is looking better than ever. Hopefully these new and renovated buildings are a sign of more success to come for the program.
More details and unveilings are set to come over the next few days.