Today, Mississippi State announced plans for a new Polk-Dement Stadium, a projected $40 million facility shown in the rendering above.
The goal, as athletic director Scott Stricklin has said, is for MSU to have the best facility in college baseball, in addition to the best atmosphere.
After studying, researching and going through feedback, Stricklin and those in the decision-making process decided the best option for MSU baseball was an entirely new facility and one which honored the tradition of the past and made the game more accessible for casual fans.
We’ll have more from Stricklin, John Cohen and others soon, but here are a few quick points in the meantime.
- The new stadium will include an open-air concourse with a two-tiered grandstand, meaning visibility of the game from anywhere in the stadium (except bathrooms, of course).
- The design team is made up of Wier Boerner Allin Architecure out of Jackson, Populous (who designed 20 of 30 current MLB stadiums, as well as TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha) and MSU alum Janet Marie Smith, the brainchild behind Baltimore’s Camden Yards.
- The new facility will be built where the existing stadium stands now and construction will begin once MSU and the Bulldog Club secure an initial $20 million in giving, with the remaining $20 million to be recouped through ticket sales and premium seating.
- Speaking of premium seating: the stadium plans include 25 skyboxes, including suites and loge seating, plus 25 “Left Field Lofts,” which are 1,000 sq. foot apartments behind Left Field Lounge, seen in the rendering above. They will be accessible year-round with two bedrooms, a bathroom a kitchen and a common room.
- No, the Left Field Lounge isn’t going anywhere, but yes, it will change. Rather than the rigs currently in place, part of the new stadium design includes permanent structures. There are currently 86 spots sold in LFL, and there will be 86 permanent spots in the new facility, with the current 86 having first dibs, as well as plans to let the owners customize and choose their own floor plans.
- They will have additional amenities (such as access to electricity and storage). The spots will likely be open year-round for seating and tailgating for things like fall baseball or football tailgating.
- The new Left Field Lounge will have also have a walkway through the middle where those who do not know lounge owners can walk through and not block anyone’s view.
- The plan is for MSU to continue play at Dudy Noble Field, even during construction, though construction timelines and plans are not finalized.
- The facility will include new locker rooms, training rooms, equipment rooms and potentially coaches’ offices.
- Polk-Dement Stadium will now have two main entrances: one behind home plate and one in right field with a large entry plaza
- Capacity figures are not yet available, but the new grandstand will hold more than the current one does and the outfield will hold “the same amount or more”. There will also be berm (hillside) areas down the far ends of the foul lines for families, groups or individuals. There will also be more significant areas for standing-room-only. Additionally, the facility will have a children’s area with slides, etc.
- There will, of course, be additional and bigger concession areas and restrooms, both in the grandstand and outfield.
- Those who bought one-time tickets when the stadium was constructed in the ‘80s (about 3,500 seats, currently), will A) be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase chairbacks in the new stadium and B) will receive credit and consideration for gifts associated with their original chairback gift.
- The new facility will include a new HD video board, ribbon boards and field lighting.