STARKVILLE — Davis Wade Stadium will have a new look come football season.
Updated scoreboards and new ribbon boards were already in the works, but a new $2.5 million project could change the way athletic departments approach ticket sales.
Mississippi State is eliminating about 1,900 seats from its west side upper bowl corners and replacing them with “The Balconies at Davis Wade Stadium.”
The project takes the concept of Dudy Noble Field’s outfield lounges and brings them atop Mississippi State’s football stadium.
MIKE LEACH: Where do contract extension talks sit for the MSU football coach?
THE VETERAN: Mike Leach shows new MSU coaches how to work a crowd
Eleven pods will be placed on each end. These shaded areas will be ticketed and are standing room only, but fans can bring approved chairs and tables. Refrigerators, personal coolers and air fans will be allowed, and each pod will be given a storage box. Fridays before games will be used as days for items not typically approved through gameday security to be brought in.
Bleachers will remain between the pods and views will not be obstructed. The balconies are constructed to allow for more to be added if the Mississippi State finds them effective and can be placed atop the remaining bleacher.
The balconies vary by size, with the smallest allowing for 10 people and the largest (located at the top) fitting 25 occupants.
The balconies are available for purchase and will be ready for use when the football season kicks off against Memphis at 6:30 pm Sept. 3. To buy a pod, fans must make a $2,700 donation to the Bulldog Club along with purchasing at least eight season tickets at $225 each.
Research and planning for the project started last football season. Mississippi State found fans often enjoyed socializing in current premium seating areas and throughout the concourse in areas where fans could congregate and see the action.
Other schools have similar concepts, but those are often found behind end zones, which Mississippi State has in place above its student section.
MSU chief financial officer Eric George and Bulldog Club executive director Mike Richey said they don’t anticipate season ticket holders from other areas of the stadium moving up. If they do, executive senior associate athletic director Rhett Hobart says the lower bowl seats left behind will be easier to sell than the upper level ones being removed.
Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @skrajisnik3.