STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State’s Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field is undergoing a $75 million expansion and renovation that will increase capacity to 61,337, provide additional premium seating, elevators, restrooms and concessions, and a completely new west side concourse, the university’s Athletic Department announced Wednesday. Construction is to begin immediately and will be complete in time for the 2014 season.
The construction contract for the project has been awarded to the Harrell Contracting Group of Jackson, Miss. Harrell won the construction project in a university sealed bid process.
“This project is a reflection of the intensified interest of our fan base about the future of Mississippi State football,” Mississippi State President Mark Keenum said. “Scott Stricklin and his staff deserve credit for creating such a great atmosphere; and Coach Mullen, his coaches and players have raised the energy level with their success on the field. Our fans have responded by selling out the stadium on a regular basis and increasing demand for tickets and enhanced amenities. The designs are impressive and creative, and I look forward to playing the University of Southern Mississippi on opening day 2014 in the newly-renovated Davis Wade Stadium.”
The north end zone addition will create a total of 8,815 new seats, which, factored with the loss of the existing bleacher seating in the north end zone, results in a net 6,255-seat increase. Davis Wade Stadium currently seats 55,082. Included in those 8,815 seats are 7,076 grandstand seats, 1,155 Scoreboard Club seats, 236 loge seats, 22 traditional suites totaling approximately 288 seats, and 60 field-level suite seats. Additionally, standing room availability and ADA-compliant seating is also included in the project.
Also included in the north end zone is a non-seated, field level premium area, The Gridiron, which will provide club-like amenities to any season ticket holder who buys a membership, regardless of that person’s stadium seat location. The visiting team locker room will also be relocated to the north end zone addition, allowing the gameday recruiting center to expand in its current location.
Fans are being given the opportunity to pre-order seats in the new premium areas immediately through the Mississippi State Bulldog Club. As part of the expansion and renovation, the entire stadium will be re-seated — based on Bulldog Club priority points — prior to the 2014 season.
Bulldog fans have set numerous attendance records in recent years, having sold out 16-consecutive games at the nation’s second-oldest on-campus stadium. Mississippi State has also sold out of football season tickets for three-straight years.
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“This expansion and renovation will transform Davis Wade Stadium while enhancing the gameday experience for our fans,” Mississippi State Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin said. “We are very proud of the work that has gone in to planning this exciting project.”
The north end will also accommodate a new high-definition video board similar in size to the one currently standing on the stadium’s south end, which is among the largest in college athletics.
The west side renovation includes a rebuilt concourse under the west stands, the addition of four high-capacity elevators, an increase in restroom and concession point of sale facilities, and a brick facade that matches the new construction on the north. Fans will see the number of elevators at Davis Wade Stadium more than double (from five to 12), the restroom fixture total nearly double (from 313 to 621), and permanent concession point of sale positions increase by over 40 percent (from 110 to 156).
The project also includes a new television compound away from the stadium proper. The TV compound is being located west of the stadium and allows network broadcast trucks to connect to stadium equipment via underground cable runs.
Davis Wade Stadium expansion and renovation will be funded by the sale of $68 million in bonds, and $7 million in private giving. Private contributions for the stadium project will be a part of the Bulldog Club’s Today. Tomorrow. Forever Athletics Facilities Initiative, which is completely independent of annual giving and priority seating donations.
Construction and renovation design for the Davis Wade Stadium expansion and renovation was handled by local architect LPK of Meridian, Miss., along with national sports consultants 360 Architecture of Kansas City. The design team engineered the north end zone facility to support future expansion of approximately 5,000 seats, including 22 additional suites and an upper deck.
The existing north bleachers are being left in place during the upcoming 2012 season, but are to be removed soon after the Bulldogs final home game this November.
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