The Kentucky football program invited 900 of its 2016 season ticket holders to Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday to tour the facilities and hear from Mitch Barnhart and some of the players. I had nothing going on Saturday, so I crashed the party to check it all out myself. Why not, right?
Let me tell you all about what I saw and learned…
The new practice facility is on schedule to be complete on July 15.
Mitch Barnhart said the coaches plan on moving into their new offices on Friday, July 15. The project is on pace to be ready to go that day.
The players will begin using it August 1.
A new sports science laboratory will replace the old football offices in Nutter.
UK will soon have a new sports science lab with experts from all over the country to focus on injury prevention for the university’s student-athletes.
Fans of the Day:
Still no stadium Wi-Fi for fans.
“Those will be things we’ll come back — we’re going to get to,” Barnhart told one of the tours. “But they’re very expensive and we have to find a way to work through it. My goal is to get the players’ stuff done first and I’ll come back and address that later on.”
He said it costs around $6 million to install the new stadium-wide Wi-Fi.
All of the bleacher-backs will be in place in “about a season and a half.”
The visitors and students will not get them, though. UK decided against bleacher-backs in the student section to encourage students to stand and be part of the game.
They’re doing about a half a million each year on the installment of the new backs.
Watch more of Barnhart’s comments during the tour:
There is a foosball table in the back service area of CWS.
Ever wonder why the concessions stands can run a little behind? I may have found the answer. There is a foosball table in the back service area where everything is stored.
You’re looking at the new pork chop sandwich. It’s marinated pork loin with pineapple, dipped in Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. Get you one at Commonwealth this fall.
There is a new Wildcat Creed on the wall of the locker room.
The new creed was written last year by the UK Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and it defines what it means to be a Wildcat. It’s on both sides of a wall in the center of the CWS locker room.
One of the tour groups wanted to sing the fight song.
So, they sang the fight song.
This is also where the football team sings the fight song after wins, hopefully with a little more passion and enthusiasm than this bunch.
Jacob Hyde’s ringtone is “House Party” by Sam Hunt.
A little fun fact for you there. His phone, which was plugged into the sound system, went off while he was speaking to one of the groups.
Courtney Love said Nebraska didn’t have anything like UK’s stadium locker room.
Love raved about UK’s new stadium locker room and how organized it is for game days. Each position group is assigned its own area in the room with dry erase boards on the walls for pregame and halftime coaching.
Wesley Woodyard said NFL teams don’t have anything like it, either.
Fans got to run (most walked) through the tunnel and onto the field.
It’s a party! It’s a party! It’s a partay!
Again, this wasn’t the most enthusiastic bunch. I would’ve been shoving people into the wall and bashing heads with grandma once those doors opened.
We are 67 days away from kick-off.