The ADPRO Sports Training Center at One Bills Drive is about to undergo a significant expansion. Terry and Kim Pegula have committed $18 million to add 25-thousand square feet of space to broaden the capabilities of the club's strength and conditioning, sports science and sports medicine departments.
"The Pegulas said they wanted best in class," said head strength and conditioning coach Eric Ciano. "They wanted the best facility in the NFL. Their main question was, 'What can we do to help our players succeed? We would go to all avenues to do that.'
"There aren't many teams in this league that would go to the lengths we are to help our players succeed on the field and keep so many of these things in house."
"The thinking is continuing what Terry and Kim (Pegula) have done even before I was even here," said GM Brandon Beane. "When I came here I saw a new locker room. The cafeteria is amazing. The training room was just being finished and is really state of the art. They bought more land and added a second grass practice field. We're trying to take care of our players."
Ciano along with a team of employees from the sports science and sports medicine departments did a lengthy amount of research and visited some of the more noteworthy training facilities in college football and the NBA to collect ideas and determine what would be the best fit for their club.
With the help of the architectural firm Populous, which developed the plans for the project, the Bills added much needed space without sacrificing the intimate team setting the organization covets.
The main part of the project expands the weight room facility that is sandwiched between the ADPRO Sports Training Center fieldhouse and the administration building. The biggest aim of the project was to provide player care on a case-by-case basis.
"This gives us more versatility," said Beane. "Individualized player care is going to help us take another step in that area. How can we help lengthen your career and strengthen your skill set? This is what you do well. This is what you need to work on and this is our plan just for you, which helps the whole. It individualizes what players can do on their own, yet in a group it will be a major upgrade when the team is back in mid-April to begin preparing for 2019."
From space for sleep pods to float tanks to a yoga studio to massage rooms, the Bills as an organization are trying to address the differing needs of every player on their roster.
"I would say the sports medicine department pretty much doubled in size from recovery rooms to massage rooms, Active Release Technology rooms, doctor's office, conference rooms," said Ciano. "Our room is three times the size now. Cardio room, yoga room upstairs, all the office space and sports science space we have, the nutrition bar. That's not counting the turf we have in the weight room and the added space for all of our equipment. That room is going to be amazing for us."
The two-story structure will connect to both the club's administration building and fieldhouse. The day-to-day ticket office will remain in its current location with only interior customer windows. This project will move the game day ticket office to a new space not far from the team store.
For the players, the training center expansion will be the new front door of the facility as they pull in to One Bills Drive.
Ciano hopes the new state of the art facility will convince more players on the roster to do their offseason training in Buffalo, knowing they won't be able to do better elsewhere.
"Besides appealing to free agents, having our guys want to stay here in the offseason will be big," Ciano said. "We hope players want to stay here in the winter because we have the best facilities available. So, they'll use those facilities and stay around and that will help us in the long run as a team as well."
Ciano said players are already asking questions about the expansion plans.
"It's the excitement from the players. They want to know when it's going to open," he said. "They know we're doing this for them, to help lengthen their careers, help keep them on the field, decrease injuries. They know that they're important. That's the number one thing."
Construction by Arc Building Partners will begin this fall. Completion is scheduled for early April 2019, just before the team returns for their offseason conditioning program.