Northwestern Football Winning Facilities Arms Race: New Fitz Mahal Photos, Videos


northwestern football ryan fieldhouse

Some call the Ryan Fieldhouse and adjacent Walter Athletic Center “The house that Pat and Pat built.” (referencing Northwestern football megadonor of all mega-donors Pat Ryan and the greatest Northwestern football coach in history Pat Fitzgerald).

Others refer to it as the “Fitz Mahal,” “Taj Fitz,” or perhaps most cleverly, the “Fitz-Carlton.” Wildcat Report summed it up perfectly with their headline “Welcome to Paradise.” However you choose to describe the new Northwestern football headquarters, you’ll inevitably do so in the manner of a person who is extremely impressed.

northwestern football locker room

As Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune architecture critic wrote (while referencing an expert on the college football facilities arms race)

“I haven’t been to every noteworthy football facility in the country, but Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports has. Last spring, after a preview of the field house, he wrote, “In terms of size, spectacle and spending, Northwestern has sprinted past the biggest names in the facilities arms race.”

The high quality and creativity on display in the completed field house and athletics center add weight to that judgment.

Eat your heart out, Alabama, Clemson, Oregon.”

northwestern football view

As Kanye West rapped over a decade ago “welcome to the good life.” Will this step up in class help Northwestern football eventually win Big Ten West division titles and later conference titles? Well that depends a lot on how much the Fitz-Carlton will aid in recruiting.

That’s a topic we’ll explore at a later time, with some input from Northwestern football players and coaches. Today, it’s all about the photos and videos from the $270,000,000 palace on the shore of Lake Michigan.

We talked about the upcoming Northwestern football season on WGN-CLTV “Sports Feed” with Jarrett Payton, have a watch below:

Thursday was Northwestern Football Media Day, and a group of journalists embarked on an hour long guided tour that encompassed at least a mile of walking (so we got our cardio for the day in while on assignment).

Let’s go through some of the highlights, of which there are many. The Twitter pics and photos come first, the Instagram photos and videos follow.

-The new squad room, which doubles as the press conference room is just as big and as nice as Notre Dame’s. Maybe it’s even bigger and better? Hard to say, to be fair though Notre Dame’s home stadium is as nice as it gets in the entire nation.

Fitzgerald serves as our guide to the new meeting/press conference room, in this quick video:

Fitzgerald referred to the new players’ lounge, which includes an outdoor terrace overlooking the beach as their “man cave” and their locker room as “a night club” (due to the ceiling lights in the N logo).

Take a look and judge for yourself:

The indoor practice field, which unlike its predecessor has a ceiling high enough for punts and kicks, also has a lakeside view.

Northwestern football communications director Paul Kennedy (@PK9 on Twitter) showing off NU’s touch screen technology:

Kennedy taking us across the practice field;

I was the only media member who took up Kennedy’s offer to ring the PR (Personal Record) bell, after completing a new PR of course!!!

You won’t find a better view from a college football practice facility anywhere in the country than this:

All in all though, pictures and videos don’t really do it justice. You have to go see it in person.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.

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