Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field – Mississippi State
Coming off a 2010 season that saw their most wins (five) at home since 1999, head football coach Dan Mullen and the Mississippi State Bulldogs return to the boisterous atmosphere of Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, where State will play an electrifying six-game home schedule, highlighted by three preseason top-10 squads.
Christened after Olympic sprinter Don Magruder Scott, one of State’s first football superstars, the 96-year-old historic facility (the nation’s second-oldest Division I-A campus football stadium) has undergone four renovation and expansion projects during its history.
Thanks to 10 consecutive home sellouts entering the 2011 season, more than $100 million in football projects will have been initiated in the next 11-14 months. Of that figure, $80 million of it is for Davis Wade expansion, which will include 5,000 to 7,000 new seats.
The latest addition fans will notice are the $1.4 million LED ribbon boards, installed this past offseason. The project, funded by the Bulldog Club, are located in the upper deck facades on the east and west sides, and will bring fans in-game graphics, scores, stats and other pertinent information to improve the game-day experience.
One of the most talked about features at Davis Wade however is one of college football’s largest high definition video boards, located in the south end zone of the stadium. The $6.1 million true HD board spans the roof of the Leo Seal M-Club Centre in the south end zone at Scott Field. The new board measures 152 feet wide by 135 feet, 6 inches tall, with a main HD screen 111 feet wide by 47 feet high. It is the largest true high definition board in the Southeastern Conference and the second largest nationally.
The latest expansion came in the summer of 2000 and raised capacity to 55,082 with the addition of 50 skyboxes and 1,700 club-level seats. The expansion continued into the 2001 season with the addition of 7,000 upper-deck seats. The entire project, completed at a cost in excess of $30 million, was made possible, in large part, by a financial commitment from the late Floyd Davis Wade Sr., ofMeridian,Miss., for whom the stadium itself is now named.
The 2001-02 construction was just the most recent major expansion project that has occurred at the stadium’s present site.
Earlier building efforts in 1936 and 1948 brought capacity at Scott Field to 35,000 seats and provided the basic concrete grandstand structure (35 years after the ’48 expansion, the end zone seating structures were removed, lowering the capacity to 32,000 in 1983). But after 25 years, Scott Field was ready for another facelift and an expanded seating potential for the school’s growing following.
A $7.2 million drive in 1986, spearheaded by former MSU athletic director Carl Maddox and an active group of university and community leaders financed the addition of 9,000 seats to Scott Field’s capacity without the use of appropriated state funding. A 5,500-seat upper deck, an additional 1,700 chairback seats that extend from the stadium’s original structure, and another 1,000 chairback seats flanking the Bob Hartley Press Box on the second level were added to the west side. Two 1,700-seat sections were added to the east side stands to bring capacity to 40,656.
That project also brought the installation of a permanent lighting system and a computerized scoreboard with message center. That video display was upgraded in the summer of 1997 to a multi-million dollar Sony JumboTron, installed in the north end zone. In addition to providing normal scoreboard functions, the big screen displays large-scale videos, including on-site replays and national interconnectivity.
Other improvements to the stadium have also been made. In the summer of 1999, the Turman Fieldhouse on the south end of the stadium underwent many changes, including enhanced dressing rooms for both teams and a new recruiting lounge for Bulldog football prospects.
The third floor addition to the Turman Fieldhouse — the Leo Seal M-Club — houses a heritage room and game-day gathering place for former Bulldog athletes, and serves as one of the campus’ more popular meeting places. The $1.4 million project, completed in 1990, was made possible through the generosity of MSU alumnus and former Bulldog football letterman Leo Seal Jr., who named the building in honor of his father, also a two-year football letterwinner at State.
Earning a reputation of being one of the nation’s toughest places to play, the facility has been host to average attendances in excess of 40,000 each of the last 10 seasons, while averaging over 50,000 during Mullen’s tenure as head coach. In fact, the last nine years have seen the largest cumulative totals in the stadium’s history.
During the 2010 campaign, Bulldog fans smashed nearly all stadium records that had been previously set. During the seven-game schedule, a total of 384,995 fans entered Davis Wade Stadium, smashing the 2009 record by over 8,000. The home campaign also saw a record average 54,999 fans a game while notching three of the stadium’s top five crowds ever (Georgia, UAB,Arkansas). The home campaign witnessed the Bulldogs win at least five home games for the sixth time in school history.
Scott Field’s playing surface, which hosted 16-straight home victories between 1998-2000, is lush Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT), complete with an underground drainage and irrigation system. The field is encircled by a holly-lined sideline fence and end zone landscaping.
Scott Field /DavisWade Stadium
90 B.S. Hood Dr.