The Southeastern Conference has no shortage of outstanding locker rooms for the football programs that bring in millions to their schools athletic programs. Keith Farner at Saturday Down South takes us on an in-depth look at a few of these great facilities.
The arms race in college football had busy years in 2012 and 2013 as a handful of the nation’s top programs upgraded existing facilities, including Alabama and Arkansas.
The seemingly never-ending pursuit for the next upgrade was documented by The Washington Post in December when it reported that 48 schools in the wealthiest conferences spent $772 million combined on athletic facilities, an 89-percent increase from $408 million spent in 2004, adjusted for inflation.
Between 1999 and 2012, every member of the SEC made a significant facility upgrade, WDRB reported.
In and out of the SEC, here are some of the best facilities around the country:
Among the highlights of the upgrade of its 30,000 square foot facility in 2013 AL.com reported was 10-foot tall versions of the national championship rings won, hydrotherapy waterfalls, three 70-inch TVs, video game systems, a nine-panel TV monitor in a movie theater; foosball, ping pong and billiard tables and a pinball machine. On a corner wall is a 45-foot mural.
Athletic director Bill Battle last year told AL.com that he doesn’t expect additional upgrades soon at Bryant-Denny Stadium, although there were $2.5 million in upgrades two years ago.
(Photo by rolltide.com)
(Photo by arkansasrazorbacks.com)
Also in 2013, the Razorbacks spent $40 million to upgrade the new 80,000 square foot Fred W. Smith Football Center. That was part of a three-pronged facilities upgrade that athletic director Jeff Long said fans supported, arkansasnews.com reported.
“People don’t follow small dreams. They follow big dreams,” Long said. “And we’ve got big dreams here, and three facilities at once is something that very few schools ever have attempted. We have big dreams and we’re going to fulfill those big dreams.”
(Photo by 12thman.com)
A latest addition to the massive renovations at Texas A&M is at the south end zone of Kyle Field. The $20.8 million project included the $4 million Lohman Center and $16.8 million for the team areas, including the Vicky and Terry Klein ’78 Locker Room and the adjacent hallways, meeting rooms, sports medicine facility and hydrotherapy pool.
(Photo by texassports.com)
In 2008, Texas finished a $150 million renovation and recently made plans for a $62 million indoor practice facility.
(Photo by clemsontigers.com)
The new 140,000-square-foot facility that cost $55 million project is set to open in February. In an article on the NCAA web site, the facility is expected to have an outdoor pavilion, barbecue grills, beach volleyball and basketball courts, and areas for mini golf and yard games. There’s also an indoor replica of Howard’s Rock and the hill the team runs down at Clemson Memorial Stadium, WYFF reported.
The Vols’ Anderson Training Center received a $45 million facelift in 2013. The 145,000-square foot building includes an amphitheater-style team room, coaches offices, position meeting rooms, a dining hall, players’ lounge, a 7,000-square foot locker room, a 22,000-square foot, multi-level weight room, training room and hydrotherapy area.