A few months ago, Mitch Barnhart gave a hint about what was to come for Kentucky's updated athletics facilities, including the $120 million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium.
"What we've come to do in our facilities is a pretty clean look that is a little edgy, that's got an element of cool to it," the Kentucky athletics director said. "Hopefully we've done that. There's a bit of a traditional piece to it that I want to keep. I want to incorporate all of those things."
All of those things are evident in the new turf field design for Commonwealth Stadium, which UK unveiled Thursday.
The clean, classic design features the blue checkerboard "pattern of excellence" based on Secretariat's silks in both end zones and team areas.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
The racing-inspired pattern has been a part of the UK football uniforms for the past five seasons. The painted end zones, which say "Kentucky" in block letters, were a regular request in the BBN First initiative from last summer, in which UK solicited feedback from fans about many athletics traditions.
The checkerboard pattern in the end zones was tested for the final home game in 2014 before becoming part of the new field's look, which was designed by UK athletics administrators and Coach Mark Stoops.
The new UK logo, which made its debut on the new Memorial Coliseum floor, is on the Commonwealth Stadium turf and extends 10 yards horizontally (the same as the previous logo) from one 45-yard line to the other.
The round SEC logos, a requirement for Southeastern Conference teams, will be in the same places at the 25-yard line on each side of the field.
The new synthetic turf field is the UBU-Speed Series-S5-M, the same surface used in the 2013 and 2014 Super Bowls and the Pro Bowl. The surface is being installed now with completion slated for July.
The new turf is being installed by Vescio's SportsFields, owned by Doug Vescio, a former Kentucky player who was a member the UK Southeastern Conference championship and Peach Bowl team. The contract with the Lexington company is for $672,500.
The Cats play their season and home opener at the newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium on Sept. 5 versus Louisiana Lafayette.