The Rams reported to training camp today at Concordia University Wisconsin, located on 126 acres in Mequon, Wisc., a northern suburb of Milwaukee. Here's a look at the campus and athletic fields that made Concordia the winning choice for the Rams.
Here is a Google Earth satellite image of the campus to get you oriented. The image was taken in Oct. 2007, since then the fields along the northern edge of campus have been completed; the tennis courts were removed and replaced with additional sod fields and the football field (surrounded by the outdoor track) and soccer field (directly north of the tennis courts) both have artificial turf on them.
Here is the main football field, one of two fields composed of artificial turf. This apparently was a factor in the Rams' selection of Concordia as most campuses only had one artificial turf.
The soccer field, with some additional yardage markers painted on to make it more football-friendly, is the second artificial turf field.
Nice clean backgrounds beyond the football field make me happy. The Rams' Earth City training facility fields are lined with bright orange plastic fencing that make it look like a road construction crew is at work.
Last look at the athletic fields before moving on...
... to the view outside the dorm building, Coburg Hall, where the Rams are staying.
Coburg Hall, a brand-new, five-story dormitory built at a cost of $19 million. Each of the coaches and staff have been assigned a golf cart to shuttle them around the 126-acre campus.
One of the common areas on the fifth floor of Coburg Hall .
A typical dorm suite, complete with 37-inch flat screen TV. Each suite has four rooms: two bedrooms and two separate study rooms, in addition to a bathroom and common sitting area.
Some rooms had better views than others.
An outdoor amphitheater right on the edge of the 135-foot slope to the water's edge.
Beyond the amphitheater was a set of 220 steps through thick wildflowers leading down to a nice little beach. Thought I'd go down and check it out.
Getting closer, I saw that there were seagulls all around the beach and on a rocky jetty. Cool.
But arriving at the bottom, just before I stepped onto the sand, I saw this sign.
Then I realized, I also had to go back up the 220 steps. Not so cool.
One thing that was never faulted at Western Illinois Unversity in Macomb, Ill., where the Rams used to hold training camp, was the food. It was excellent. The cafeteria at Concordia University Wisconsin promised to try to match. This was the dinner menu for this evening.
And to prove they weren't kidding around, a couple of chefs spent a good chunk of the afternoon manning the outdoor grill.
That's a quick tour of the Rams' 2008 training camp home-away-from-home for the next three weeks. Actual football pictures to come, check out the paper or STLtoday.com.