Barnhart says stadium upgrades will improve recruiting, fan experience

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A plan for a $110 million upgrade in the University of Kentucky''s football facilities was announced Thursday morning in Frankfort.

UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto and athletics director Mitch Barnhart joined Gov. Steve Beshear in announcing details of the plan that would begin this year and be completed by summer of 2015.

Commonwealth Stadium and the Nutter Training Facility are at the heart of the plan. Commonwealth Stadium, which opened in 1973, is in need of an upgrade, Barnhart said. His hope is that the project improves the fan experience and helps in recruiting.

"We're competing with 70 inch televisions at home," Barnhart said. "We've got to make sure that what we put together, not only the product on the field, but the experience when they come to the game, is something that people feel good about and I think this stadium will reflect that."

Barnhart said new coach Mark Stoops will have a say in some of the new upgrades.

"It clearly sends a message that we're going to be committed to football," Barnhart said. "We've got a very good football coach and a very energetic staff that's going to go out there and work at bringing players to our program."

"I've been at this a long time," Barnhart continued. "A lot of schools have had success in college football that weren't traditional powers and we can get there. Coach Stoops is committed to that we're showing our commitment back to him that we're going to get in the game and make sure we're there with him."

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