In 2013, Texas A&M raised a record-breaking $US740 million, something A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said was directly linked to the success of the football team and the media attention generated by Johnny Manziel.
At the same time, the school has earmarked nearly $US500 million for renovating Kyle Field and upgrading the football complex and locker rooms. The school released a video of the new Bright Football Complex, which underwent a $20.8 million renovation, and it looks fantastic.
The first thing you notice is just how bright and modern the complex now looks.
Notice that the flags of the SEC conference appear to be in alphabetical order, except for A&M’s flag, which is in front. Also, the mannequins are wearing no. 12 in honour of the school’s 12th Man.
The center of the main foyer has an impressive array of screens.
Those screens can be controlled by a touchpad and makes the glass tower in the atrium look like something out of “Star Trek.”
Kevin Sumlin seemed to make it pretty clear that the main purpose of the facility upgrades was to help recruit high school football players.
There is even a display with monitors, NFL logo gloves, and a list of former Aggies in the NFL to remind recruits that A&M can help them get to the NFL.
Another display allows people to create their own uniform combination from the seemingly infinite number of possibilities seen at many football programs these days.
Of course, there is also a display dedicated to Johnny Football.
The entire project cost $US20.8 million and was designed by Populous, the architectural firm responsible for most of the new stadiums around the world.
A representative of Populous noted that “every piece that we touched was customised and tailored specifically to Texas A&M’s brand.” This includes the logos emblazoned on the leather seats in the lecture hall. The seats were made in Spain.
Here is a look at one of the classrooms. Sumlin said one of the keys to the redesigning the classrooms was to create a place where people “want to come and want to work.”
But the star of the show is clearly the new locker room.
It looks more like a museum dedicated to the A&M football program. When thy walk in the first thing the players see is a wall of monitors with a schedule.
Each locker comes with a display above indicating which player uses that locker, with their photo, number, position, and where they are from. It even includes each players Twitter handle in the upper-right corner.
There are screens and monitors everywhere, including three televisions where players can get a hair cut (the one in the middle is actually on the opposite wall and we are seeing the reflection).
Even the sinks in the bathroom area have televisions.
The showers were made with marble walls and marble tile floors.
How long until the players manage to get a PS4 or XBox One hooked up to these screens? And maybe some pillows.
Another wall of monitors is counting down the days, hours, and minutes until the first game of the season.
Of course, all of the Adidas swag available to the players is prominently on display just outside the appropriately named “Adidas fitting room.”
The locker room is the star of the show and the biggest attraction in the locker room is the hydrotherapy pool with hot and cold tubs. The pool comes with four televisions on both sides, of course.
Here is the full video.
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