University of Georgia's $63 million stadium upgrade includes a new locker room, a lounge for recruits, and shows how swanky football facilities have become

The Georgia Bulldogs have been dominant on the gridiron to start the season. Thanks to three dominant victories in which the Bulldogs outscored their opponents by an average of 37 points per contest, Georgia has once again landed at the top of the college football rankings and looks primed to return to the College Football Playoff for the second time in as many years.

Perhaps even more impressive than the Bulldogs’ play, however, is their brand-new locker room and stadium renovation, which shows just how over-the-top and luxurious college football facilities have become. The “West End Zone Project” took 16 months to complete and cost the university an estimated $US63 million, which was raised primarily through The Georgia Bulldog Club’s leadership fundraising entity, The Magill Society.

Georgia’s new stomping grounds feature an upgraded locker room, a new lounge for hosting recruits on game days, restroom and concession area renovations, a new scoreboard, and an expanded upper plaza.

Check out some images of the 120,000 square-foot renovation:

Georgia’s “West End Zone project” at Sanford Stadium was designed by HOK, the architect firm responsible for many stadiums around the world.

“Sanford Stadium is one of our feature showpieces,” Smith said. “To be able to enjoy that environment and have a great place to host [recruits] on game day, that’s a great advantage.”

Wikimedia Commons

A giant signature “G” on the ceiling greets visitors and players as they enter the brand-new locker room, which is twice the size of its predecessor.

Each player enjoys his own spacious and dramatically backlit locker, which comes etched with his name, number, and hometown at the top and the classic Georgia “G” at the base.

The lockers look a lot like those in the Texas Longhorns’ locker room, which was renovated before last season began.

Texas Longhorns

Each locker in Texas’ facility cost a whopping $US8,700, and for good reason.

Texas Longhorns

Each stainless-steel locker was fitted with a 37-inch television, anti-bacterial features, custom-made Battle Gear racks, and pin-pad safes.

Texas Longhorns

Back in Athens, motivational phrases such as “ATTACK THE DAY” and “PHYSICALITY” line the walls above the lockers.

The facility also features a treatment room for players with injuries and a separate locker room for Georgia’s assistant coaches. Head coach Kirby Smith has a room to himself for game days.

The team’s new recruiting hospitality lounge, which is over 10,000 square feet, sits above the locker room and will be used exclusively to host prospective student-athletes and their guests on game days.

As recruits walk through the glass doors into the lounge, they are greeted by the words “Commit to the G” printed on the wall.

A side room in the lounge features wall decals with each of the team’s three Nike jersey alternatives. A digital ticker lists the names of former Bulldogs who moved on to the NFL above. In some cases, the text also reveals their cumulative career earnings.

Additionally, the lounge features floor-to-ceiling decals spotlighting former players in the NFL.

The airy lounge has screens and seating throughout. It also features a stage and a podium for addressing recruits.

The windows and doors between the lounge and the field are fitted with special glass that can be made clear or opaque with the push of a button. Because the NCAA prohibits recruits from watching games from “premium seating,” the glass must be opaque when prospective student-athletes visit.

Guests who step out of the lounge will find themselves with a great view of the field from just behind the goal posts.

They will also have a birds-eye view of the Bulldogs as they charge onto the field.

Of course, there is a bust of UGA X, the team’s famous mascot, in the West End plaza.

The area also features upgraded concessions and vendors for fans to enjoy.

The stadium’s new 100-foot-wide scoreboard rounds out the renovation.

Now check out what happened to recent Heisman winners.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The last 20 Heisman Trophy winners

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