Opportunities abound in Davis Wade expansion

“Hey, do you know anyone selling student tickets?”

No. No, you are too old for that. You graduated, you have a job and you wear long pants every day to an actual job. You can’t sit in the student section anymore.

So let’s get our nice pants, our fancy shoes and a gameday polo and get some real seats to go with it all.

stadiumback-newNot terribly far removed from school myself, and with friends of the same age, I understand the struggles and the change from the student to professional life, as well as the difficulty in doing things on campus as alumni, not people with a major and homework to do.

An MSU graduate and now a Starkville resident, Chris Shapley moved to town after finishing medical school and then his residency, taking a job in 2010.

His game-attendance story has been similar to many the last three years, using tickets from family members or friends, he and his wife finding ways to get to the games and enjoying the tailgating beforehand.

“We never had season tickets ourselves,” he said. “When we figured out we were moving here, we wanted to get our own season tickets, but it was right as Dan Mullen got here, so it was tough to get them.”

Fair enough.

“Then, I saw the announcement last year,” he said. “I knew the best route for me once I saw Davis Wade expansion was to get in on the ground floor of that.”

Hey, there we go.

Shapley said he initially talked to a few friends about possibly going in on a box together, but the idea never panned out and he found himself looking for tickets for his wife and three kids.

They landed on the Loge seating as their final choice, one of the premium options in the soon-to-be-constructed north endzone as part of Davis Wade Stadium expansion and renovation.

Loge is close to sold out now, but the options for nicer and still affordable seats remain, even for those younger than Shapley, recent grads still figuring out how to dress like an adult.

HZERMDJCRTQNNWB.20100910032020The choices for premium amenities at a less-than-premium price? The Scoreboard Club and The Gridiron.

The Scoreboard Club is actually modeled after venues Mississippi State has seen when playing in NFL stadiums in recent bowl games. Basically, an outdoor club level.

At an $1,100 per seat Bulldog Club obligation, they are chairbacks in the open air of Davis Wade, with an indoor club area situated underneath, complete with bathrooms, locker service, food, drinks and a warm or cool place to escape from the elements, depending on the time of year. Additionally, Scoreboard Club has access to the terraces along the edges of the bowl, a place to stretch your legs, congregate, sit, or pace at your own uncontrollable leisure during stressful moments of the game.

The Gridiron is one of the more interesting and post-grad affordable options, basically serving as an auxiliary suite for those with tickets and seats elsewhere in the grandstands.

Membership is not a ticket to the game itself, but the $750 full-season price is access to what amounts to, in a manner of speaking, a country club at the game. It’s an indoor, field-level area with full food and drinks, your own lockers, private bathrooms, seating and a clear ground-level view of the field, open both before and during the game, a place to hang out when not sitting in your seats.

For many, it’s an opportunity to add a premium feel to their standard seats.

“Or sometimes,” coordinator of athletic development Stephen Foshee said, “we have people very capable of getting the high-level seats, but they say, ‘I’m a football junkie, I want to sit 20 rows up at the 50-yard line.’ For those people, the benefit of The Gridiron is having a premium area you can go to.”

Whatever your place in life, be it recent grad, young doctor or happily-retired Bulldog fan, the expansion of Davis Wade is a timely opportunity to secure nice seats and enjoy MSU games in a way previously not possible.

The key, to borrow a phrase, it to get while the gettin’s good.

And hey, it’s still close to the band.

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