UNC football players eagerly await expansions at Kenan Football Center

Construction on the North Carolina soccer team’s Kenan Football Center additions began in early August and will continue through the 2022 season.

The additions are being made on the northwest side of the stadium near the intersection of South Road and Stone Center Drive.

Additions will include upgrades and increased space in player lounge, weight room, locker room, outdoor team area, training room, team room, study areas, offices of the coaches and the meeting rooms of the players.

Junior defensive lineman Myles Murphy expressed his excitement about Kenan Football Center’s new player lounge deck, which includes a visitor plaza and outdoor basketball court.

“I can’t wait to see it,” he said. β€œI hope it will be done very soon; we are going to have a basketball court and all that.”

The estimated $15 million in renovations and expansions, which the UNC Board of Trustees approved in May 2021, will be fully funded by the Rams Club.

The Kenan Football Center was first built in 1997. This project marks another improvement to the football facility during Head Coach Mack Brown’s second term in Chapel Hill.

One of the first improvements in Brown’s most recent stint with the Tar Heels was a $5 million weight room and locker renovation, completed during the summer of 2019. This upgrade installed 120 new lockers and added nine new weight racks. , while redoing the design of each room. The team spent an additional $2 million that year to convert the grass field to synthetic turf.

Prior to the current additions, UNC also renovated the first floor of the Kenan Football Center in the spring of 2020.

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Total investments in the football team during Brown’s second term are priced at around $22 million and have upgraded several facilities, including the weight room, locker room, and football field.

“I’m a little jealous,” senior offensive lineman Asim Richards said of the changes underway at Kenan Stadium and downtown. “I don’t know if I’m going to see all the new renovations, but there are some wonderful things in Kenan.”

Second-year linebacker Raneiria “RaRa” Dillworth, who joined the team after completing many of the additions and improvements made during Brown’s second term, also shared his excitement about these new changes.

“I really like it, because recruits understand it when they first arrive, but we see it every day,” he said. β€œIt’s really cool and fun and it’s really going to help us expand. ”

As college football facilities continue to improve across the country, additions and improvements to Kenan Stadium under Brown’s direction become increasingly important to the Tar Heels’ football program remaining competitive in the recruiting field. In the ACC alone, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and Virginia Tech, among others, are renovating or have recently renovated their football facilities.

However, this round of investment in the football team is much smaller compared to the improvements made during Brown’s first tenure with the Tar Heels, which saw the addition of 8,000 seats, a new football field and the Frank H. Kenan Football Center. .

Still, Dillworth believes these recent additions will help Brown and UNC persuade recruits to become Tar Heels.

“It will probably help, but Coach Mack Brown and his staff are doing really well at their jobs, and that’s based on that,” he said.

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UNC fans will have a chance to see the additions and renovations up close during the Tar Heels’ home opener against the Florida A&M Rattlers on Saturday, August 27 at 8 p.m.

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