After spending $13 million and building high expectations, CSU’s new indoor practice facility, after a year’s worth of construction, is finally scheduled to host its first official practice.
The Rams are set to migrate into the new facility today for an afternoon practice, transitioning from their usual location just west of Moby arena.
Nick Oppenneer, a cornerback for the Rams, said he is excited to officially break in the new facility and gave high complements to the way it turned out.
“It’s such a nice thing to have,” the senior said. “To be able to have the luxury to go inside is really nice. Especially on the rainy lightening days and the heavy snows where coach Fairchild doesn’t want to go outside, it’s a privilege to have.
Although CSU has hosted team walk throughs at the facility, the team has never held a full practice inside.
Head coach Steve Fairchild explained he decided to hold practice indoors as a way of achieving desired game conditions.
“I like the indoor facility and I like the options it gives us,” the second year CSU head man said. “We’re going indoors for a couple of other reasons. Some of the situations we want to practice are going to be better suited in there.”
Along with allowing the Rams to take a break from practicing in the heat, the facility will also allow Fairchild to simulate crowd noise, similar to what CSU will face during the opening game of the season against CU-Boulder at Folsom Field next Saturday.
Sophomore linebacker Mychal Sisson expects that the artificial crowd noise could have lasting positive effects for the Rams.
“It’s going to help us all out a lot,” the Texas native said. “People get out there to a game, see the crowds and might get nervous. If we practice with the noise we’ll be like pros. No one will be nervous, and we’ll know what to expect.”
Oppenneer agreed, adding it’s much harder to replicate realistic crowd noise when the team practices outside.
“When you’re out here (Hughes Stadium) you can hear everything,” he said. “I can talk to a corner on the other side of the field. To have that crowd noise is going to help everyone out, especially the quarterbacks.”
Fairchild not happy with Hughes Practice
The Rams took to Sunny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium Thursday night, in attempt to get used to playing in night conditions.
After the practice Fairchild explained he wasn’t very happy with how his team preformed. This came as a particular disappointment to the former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator after watching his team produce quality practices earlier in the week.
“We practiced, but I don’t think that was one of our best practices,” Fairchild said. “I don’t think we had the edge we needed. There are some things we accomplished, but if we were to (play) like that, we would get beat.”