Monday, June 17, 2024

Missouri State to Conference USA: How does Plaster Stadium compare to CUSA stadiums?

Must read

Missouri State is well aware that it has a ways to go with its football facilities before it can compete with the other stadiums within Conference USA.

Administrators already indicated millions need to be raised within the next few years to upgrade Plaster Stadium and other football buildings to enhance the student-athletes experience. Other members of CUSA have invested heavily in their athletics buildings in recent years and Missouri State will need to follow.

Here’s a rundown of the other Conference USA football stadiums and what the Bears are up against before they join the league in 2025.

More: Missouri State move to Conference USA won’t be cheap. Here are ways expenses will increase

Capacity: 22,000

Announced attendance in 2023: 13,917

Indoor practice facility: Yes. The Blue Hens have an indoor fieldhouse that was opened in 1966. The school added turf inside the building in 2010 and the football program has used it ever since. The school also constructed a $60 million athletics facility adjacent to Delaware Stadium that includes large weight rooms, nutrition centers, a stadium club and NCAA compliance offices. The top floor of the building includes press boxes and suites overlooking the stadium.

Delaware Stadium was completed in 1952. It’s undergone numerous renovations including a new FieldTurf surface installed in July 2017, bleachers built in 2000 and a recently-added videoboard.

More: How will Missouri State be ‘budget-neutral’ with CUSA move? Here are new revenue streams.

Capacity: 20,000

Announced attendance in 2023: 15,291

Indoor practice facility: None. The Panthers have a dedicated football facility with locker rooms, weight rooms, coaches offices, training facility, meeting rooms and others that was completed in 2010.

The original stadium opened in 1995 but was renovated before a major expansion and redesign before the 2008 season. An additional expansion increased the capacity to what it is now in 2012.

More: How will Missouri State be ‘budget-neutral’ with CUSA move? Here are new revenue streams.

Capacity: 24,000

Announced attendance in 2023: 20,033

Indoor practice facility: None. The Gamecocks are scheduled to finish a new $32 million football complex with a new game day and player lounge, suites, coaches offices and meeting rooms before the 2024 season.

The Gamecocks’ stadium first opened in 1965 and was recently renovated for $47 million and expanded to its current capacity before the 2010 season. The recent expansion included a facility with four floors dedicated to 400 dorm beds with the top three floors being luxury boxes and a new press area.

More: Will Missouri State football struggle when it jumps to Conference USA? Not necessarily

Capacity: 10,200

Announced attendance in 2023: 7,857

Indoor practice facility: None. The Owls have a football coaches offices building that was completed in 2013 and includes offices, meeting rooms, weight rooms and a 2,560-square-foot football speed and agility area.

Fifth Third Stadium was completed in the spring of 2010. Kennesaw State has looked into expanding the stadium in recent years but has yet to do so.

Capacity: 25,000

Announced attendance in 2023: 19,057

Indoor practice facility: Yes. The Flames opened a $29 million indoor practice facility in 2017. It also opened a $20 million three-story Liberty Football Center in 2020 that includes weight rooms, a player’s lounge, a recruiting area, workout rooms and coaching offices.

The stadium opened in 1989 and its latest renovation was completed before the 2018 season. In 2018, before its first year of FBS action, it expanded its stadium with a new upper deck, added more concessions and restrooms, added a new scoreboard and also made several improvements to improve traffic around the stadium.

More: How Missouri State football coach Ryan Beard is approaching Conference USA, FBS jump

Capacity: 28,562

Announced attendance in 2023: 15,796

Indoor practice facility: None. The school built a football facility within the last decade that includes a weight room, a locker room and a club lounge for gameday.

The stadium opened in 1968 and underwent a renovation project totaling nearly $20 million that was completed before the 2017 season. Renovations included press box updates, guest suite facilities, bathroom updates, etc. A previous update included a $22 million endzone facility that enclosed the stadium and it’s housed the football team since 2015.

Capacity: 30,788

Announced attendance in 2023: 13,219

Indoor practice facility: None. The school is scheduled to complete a $66 million student-athlete performance center in 2025 that will house the football program. The three-story building will include coaching offices, meeting areas, locker rooms, a players’ lounge and a large dining venue for student-athletes.

The stadium opened in 1933 and has undergone multiple multi-million dollar renovations since. The latest $25 million expansion, in 1998, led to a new five-story press box with club level, suites, a press floor and a camera deck. Recent years have seen the addition of new scoreboards, a new stadium club and turf.

More: Q&A with Conference USA commissioner Judy MacLeod: Why did CUSA add Missouri State?

Capacity: 28,853

Announced attendance in 2023: 14,847

Indoor practice facility: None. The Aggies recently had their locker rooms renovated in 2017 inside their football fieldhouse which was remodeled in 2006 for $2.2 million.

First built in 1978, Aggie Memorial Stadium has undergone a few renovations since. The latest came in 2015 when the stadium added a club-level area that reduced the number of seats.

Capacity: 14,000

Announced attendance in 2023: 8,298

Indoor practice facility: None. The Bearkats moved into a renovated 27,000-square-foot facility that was finished in 2021 and cost about $15.6 million. The improved facility modernized the locker rooms and weight rooms and upgraded its meeting rooms. The building sits outside the football stadium.

Bowers Stadium was completed in 1986. Its most recent renovations include the addition of new turf in 2016 and the installation of a large video board in 2015.

Capacity: 45,971

Announced attendance in 2023: 18,160

Indoor facility: None. The Miners house inside a building adjacent to the stadium that includes a football strength and conditioning center and a student-athlete lounge. The building opened its doors in 2002.

Home of last year’s “Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl” game, the Sun Bowl stadium is where UTEP calls home. The stadium was built in 1963 and underwent renovations as recently as 2021. The $15 million project updated luxury boxes, press facilities, concourse upgrades and the addition of premium seating on one side of the stadium.

Capacity: 22,133

Announced attendance in 2023: 15,710

Indoor facility: Yes. In addition to building a new press box, the Hilltoppers will unveil a new indoor practice facility with new locker rooms and lounges for several sports. The Hilltopper Fieldhouse will be completed by late 2025.

The Hilltoppers have called Jimmy Feix Field their home since 1968 and it’s seen a handful of improvements along the way. A $50 million expansion project began in 2008 to add new locker rooms, weight rooms and training rooms. After the 2023 season, construction began on a new press box above its stadium club that will be completed before the 2024 season. The cost for the recent renovations was not immediately available.

How does Plaster Stadium at Missouri State compare?

Capacity: 17,500

Announced attendance in 2023: 9,143

Indoor football facility: None. The university recently approved an upgraded locker room for the football team in the Forsythe Athletics Center which includes a lobby and team lounge along with enlarged restroom and shower areas. Missouri State has discussed locker rooms and coaching offices in recent years when it had previously considered an indoor practice facility.

What Missouri State said it wants to do: MSU President Clif Smart said the locker room project will be $4 million and that the school has already allocated $1.5 million toward it. Athletics Director Kyle Moats added the project will include a weight room and that money needs to come through fundraising. The second phase, which MSU isn’t sure what will happen yet, will be with the west side bleachers opposite the student section. Moats said the suites need to be upgraded among other items to meet standards. A third phase will be an upgrade for the press box. The costs of the latter two phases are unclear.

Facility history: The first football game at Plaster Stadium was played in 1941 with several expansions and renovations up until now. In 2014, the stadium was converted to be football-specific with the playing surface replaced and the student section (east side) fully replaced for around $22 million.

Latest article