Aside from the unmistakable silver and black colors that engulfed them everywhere they looked, one thing stood out to the Chiefs while preparing for Super Bowl 58 at the facility of their AFC West rival Raiders.
“The weights seem a little light in the Raiders’ weight room,” Chiefs linebacker Drue Tranquill said.
Before Raiders fans get all upset, Tranquill was just joking. And can you blame him? It’s not every day you use your rival’s workspace to get ready for the biggest game of your life. So, of course, they were going to have fun with it.
The fact is, the Chiefs actually love the place.
“By the way,” said Chiefs safety Justin Reid, changing the course of a conversation. “The Raiders have a really nice facility.”
Added Tranquill: “The Raiders’ facility is unbelievable. We’ve really enjoyed it there. The accommodations have been great.”
So great that it might have opened the eyes of a certain pending free agent the Raiders might end up targeting. That would be Chiefs All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones, who was blown away by the Raiders’ home.
“The Raiders have the best facility in the league,” Jones said. “Very first-class organization. New equipment, new facility. Much respect to the owner and the organization.”
Jones smiled and laughed when he was told Raiders fans would love hearing him say that.
Not that it didn’t feel surreal setting up shop at, of all places, the facility of their longtime rival.
“It is a little weird, man, when you’re like, I don’t like this team at all,” said Tranquill, laughing. “And my locker is in their locker room. And I gotta warm up in their hot tub. And I gotta use their weight room.”
To offset that, let’s say the Chiefs took a few liberties.
“We covered up some of the Raiders logos with Chiefs logos,” Reid said. “That kind of made it a little homey.”
But there is only so much the Chiefs can do to make the Raiders’ headquarters feel normal.
“It’s not gonna feel like home,” said guard Trey Smith, laughing. “No matter what you do, it just doesn’t have that same feel as your own.”
The 336,227-square foot facility includes three outdoor football fields, a performance center that features a gym, locker rooms and a training room where players have access to a hot tub, cold tub and a treadmill tub. There’s also an outdoor training pool.
The indoor field house spans 130,440 square feet and includes 1½ football fields, allowing teams to practice in a climate-controlled environment. The field house’s east end zone is a full cafeteria where the team and staff are fed.
“They definitely spent some money putting that together,” Reid said.
Among the features that stood out were the massive weight room, the 25-by-13-meter pool and the pristine feel of a building that opened four years ago.
The unique setting also caught the Chiefs’ attention.
“You can see the mountains when you practice,” linebacker Nick Bolton said. “In Kansas City, we don’t really have that. So the scenery was beautiful.”