There are still cement mixers idling in the concourse, giant clouds of dust when entering the club level lounge, suites not designed to be open air waiting for windows.
There are hundreds and hundreds of things still incomplete at the new Commonwealth Stadium with less than 50 days until Kentucky's opener on Sept. 5.
But as he took about 50 media members in hard hats on a tour of the active construction site, Russ Pear promised again that work on the $120 million facility would be done in time.
"The expectation is that all of the amenities for all of our fans, for the media, for everybody is better and is ready to go for the first game," Kentucky's senior associate athletics director for capital projects said Wednesday.
Pear explained as he stood on the new artificial turf field whose installation he called one of the first major milestones at the stadium, which is in the middle of undergoing a complete facelift.
The field, with its checkerboard end zones and team areas, looks ready for a game, but the areas around it are still chaos.
"It will be an active construction zone until the first game," Pear said as he pointed out the multiple levels of VIP seating on the south side of the stadium.
When pressed on whether or not he could look fans and season ticket holders in the eye and say it will be ready, Pear seemed confident.
"There is a lot of work to do; there is a lot of work to do," he said. "And if I said, 'Boy, there's not much work to do' you'd all think I was nuts, more than I am. There's a lot of work to do. But the commitment is there to get it done, to get it ready."
There are going to be hiccups and discomfort for some. He specifically mentioned workers working extra shifts and weekends to move the project along.
Or Aramark, the company in charge of concessions, wanting to move into their new fully equipped kitchen two months before the opener. That won't happen.
"They're not going to get two months," Pear said. "They know it, and they're doing what they need to do to make that work. That's what you have to have in a project like this."
Though the dust, debris and plastic curtains separating one section from another, there were plenty of signs of progress, like the stacked limestone that goes all the way around the bottom exterior of the stadium.
Limestone also lines seating areas at the front entrance of the stadium facing Nicholasville Road.
"It's going to look really neat on that side," he said, noting that the landscaping still has to begin. "It's going to look really nice."
Several other key bits of information came out during the media's sneak peek Wednesday afternoon, including the new multi-purpose recruiting room with its stunning view of the field (from an enclosed patio) in the East end zone. Recruits and their families will mingle up there until game time.
The athletics department also plans to let other UK teams use the space for meetings and to potentially rent the space for corporate events.
■ The team will have a new room right off the tunnel (under the recruiting room space) where it will meet before games and at halftime. It will be equipped with chairs, dry-erase walls and restrooms, as well as space for medical staff and an in-stadium X-ray machine. Across the hall is a space for post-game interviews.
This season, the team will dress in its existing locker room space and then head to the field. Once the nearby, $45 million practice facility is completed, the players will get ready there and then walk over to the stadium.
■ A graphics package is being developed for the entire stadium everywhere from the scoreboards (which are one feature not being replaced) to the blue walls that separate the field from the stands. The signage will feature the new interlocking "UK" logo.
"We're going to have to do these little things to make the house the home," Pear said.
■ The mezzanine and loge level seating includes several soon-to-be cushy lounge areas. The suite level, where glass was being installed Wednesday, has several indoor lounge areas as well as an outdoor patio on one side.
■ There is a long-term plan to install blue seat-backs throughout the lower bowl, but Pear offered no timeline, simply saying "somewhere down the road."
■ It's not just the premium seating that will offer new amenities either, Pear noted. The north side of the stadium has much wider concourses as well as new concessions and restrooms.
"Just a different personality to the facility when you walk into the bowl," he said. "Now, we want people to come onto the concourses and go, 'Wow, gosh this looks fresh.'"
■ The parking lots surrounding Commonwealth Stadium will be paved in the next two weeks, with the goal to get the paving done before school is back in session.