With training camp a thing of the past, the Chargers moved into their new facility at Hoag Performance Center on Thursday.
Much like the first day of school, the team took in any and every nook and cranny of their new home.
It didn’t disappoint.
“It’s a beautiful facility,” Corey Liuget said. “I think ownership did a great job as far as location and picking out the fine (details) that many guys aren’t paying attention to, like the carpeting to the doors to the lockers. Even the seats; we’re able to sit in front of the lockers now and have space. I think they did a phenomenal job.”
“They definitely upgraded, and it’s definitely a step in the right direction,” added Damion Square. “One of the key things is this is where we spend most of our time at. People just like the environment here. The guys came in and everybody’s kind of looking around (saying), ‘Wow!’”
The team completely renovated the existing building in Costa Mesa to cater to their players’ and coaches’ needs. From the weight room to the meeting rooms and other areas, everything was customized.
“Fortunately, we were able to access outstanding project managers from our family’s construction business to ensure Hoag Performance Center would be ready by the end of training camp,” said Chargers President – Business Operations, A.G. Spanos. “We have been keenly focused this offseason on minimizing distribution to football operations. It’s gratifying to hear the response from players and football staff.”
Since the facility had to be built out, what element are most Chargers excited about?
“There’s a lot of space,” Head Coach Anthony Lynn mentioned. “Every meeting room is about 20% bigger than what we had in San Diego. There’s a lot of space, (the rooms are) very nice. Technology is really cool. They just did a heck of a job on this building.”
“It’s spacious,” added Keenan Allen. “We have a lot of space. The hot tub (and) cold tubs are amazing; they make you want to get in there. And then we can just walk outside to practice, as we could at Chargers Park, but it’s new so you get more excited.”
“I’m digging it, myself,” Joe Barksdale said. “It’s the nicest facility I’ve ever been in so I think that says it. I like new things, but I like the space. Just in the locker rooms, meeting rooms, and all of them, you can just feel more space.”
In keeping with the theme of customization, Lynn mentioned that certain spaces also provide more function. In the case of the weight room, the head coach likes how it is “built for power”.
“We’re trying to get guys stronger and keep them on the field,” he said. “…We have recovery rooms now so guys can go and recover. They can bring in outside (staff to help them). We have so much more space now. It’s more football-functional.”
Despite the interiors being nice, the outside field space is equally liked. Many players enjoyed jogging out to the field for the first time including Hunter Henry and Allen, who said how amazing the grass looked. He couldn’t wait to dig his cleats into the field.
“It was a lot of fun to be out here,” Henry said after practice. “We got to see the new facility finally and it’s nice out here. The weather is still great and we had fun flying around.”