College football’s 25 best facilities in 2022, ranked

21. North Carolina Tar Heels

20. Illinois Fighting Illini

19. Florida Gators

18. Kentucky Wildcats

17. Auburn Tigers

The rundownDesigned to make Kenan Stadium and North Carolina football more modern in the Mack Brown era, the Tar Heels have pumped millions of dollars into becoming a championship contender in the ACC over the past several years with facility enhancements including an indoor practice facility and a new locker room — among other additions.

The biggest rise in our facility rankings in 2021 was Illinois and the Fighting Illini are hanging inside the top 25 once again following a jaw-dropping update as one the most impressive in the Big Ten. The Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center opened August 2019 and the 107,650-square foot, $79.2 million facility includes expanded strength and conditioning spaces, coaches’ offices, position meeting rooms, player development areas and locker rooms. You can certainly make the argument the facilities are better than what Bret Bielema was working with previously in the conference at Wisconsin.

The University of Florida has invested nearly $300 million into facility enhancements across athletics over the past six years. Thanks to its first locker room overhaul in a decade for the economical price of $1.5 million along with early renderings of their new new football-only facility, the Gators entered our facilities rankings for the first time in 2019 and have risen since. The recent completion of Phase I included an indoor practice facility, but the standalone building will feature locker rooms, a strength and conditioning space, coaches offices and lounge spaces. The new, planned training center is considered Phase 3 of a 10-year plan to upgrade the digs in Gainesville.

(Photo: YouTube)

See what funneling more money into football brings to the Bluegrass? Kentucky might be considered a basketball school, but the Wildcats’ $45 million upgrade to its football training facility in 2016 totaled 100,000 square feet and proves the administration believes in Mark Stoops and his steps toward the future. It paid off in 2018 as the Wildcats won nine games and earned a New Year’s Day bowl berth. Every player’s locker is ventilated with a cell phone charger, lock box and cup holders. For a cool price tag of $120 million, renovated Commonwealth Stadium saw its first fans in 2017 and reviews have been extremely positive.

Auburn comes in at No. 17 with the promise this program surges once its new monstrosity is completed ahead of the 2022 season. Auburn’s 233,400-square foot Performance Center cost nearly $100 million and will house new locker rooms, a players’ lounge, meeting rooms, a barbershop, two recording studios and a flight simulator. That’s right — the first of its kind (that we know of), a flight simulator.



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