Athletic Director Delivers Summer Letter to Fans
June 27, 2014
June 27, 2014
Dear Bears Fans-
It’s been a very busy and productive spring and summer thus far.
I once again want to recognize and acknowledge the work of Missouri State’s students in the passage of the B.E.A.R Fee last fall. Thanks to their work, we are in the midst of a transformation on campus. If you haven’t been by campus recently, I recommend you wear a hard hat when you visit. Our recreation and athletic fields are making great progress, and by the fall the campus will be gleaming with pride over these new facilities. I encourage you to drive by if you’re traveling through Springfield to see all the progress. If you can’t make it to campus, there are live construction cameras and photo galleries available at MissouriStateBears.com.
Related to the new facilities, everything remains on schedule. The Betty and Bobby Allison North Stadium (field Hockey and lacrosse complex) is nearly complete. A few punch list items and landscaping are all that remain. We enjoyed seeing the water cannons function during our walk through. This facility will be one of the finest in the Midwest. The branding and scoreboards really accentuate the facility and make it stand out. The Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium (soccer and track) with include a state-of-the-art scoreboard and marquee to promote all events on campus, which our students have been wanting for a number of years. We can’t thank Bobby Allison enough for his generosity and vision for making Missouri State a great destination for students. He has been instrumental in providing key branding initiatives that bring pride to all of us who work and attend MSU.
The B.E.A.R Fee is also helping to fund major upgrades and changes to the game day experience at Plaster Stadium. I’m extremely excited about these changes for our students and fans. In addition to tweaking the name of the facility – Plaster Stadium instead of Plaster Sports Complex -- we are relocating BearFest Village to the north side of the stadium directly in front of McDonald Arena. The entire north plaza will be dedicated to BearFest Village and enhancing the pregame festivities on campus. Public sale of food and alcohol will be available through Chartwells, and corporate tents as well as student and individual tailgating areas will open three hours prior to kickoff with contests, giveaways, live entertainment and pep rallies before each home game in this new area. Parking lots 18, 22 and 24 south of Grand Street will remain open for those individual tailgaters who prefer a more private tailgate experience before they move across the street to BearFest Village closer to game time.
The new BearFest Village will be a very festive area, and I want to thank football alum Mike Armentrout and fellow alum John Cosentino for their leadership in spearheading a fund-raising initiative to honor former assistant coach and administrator Bill O’Neill in this area. The new north fence surrounding the stadium will have a gate bearing his name, and the team will now enter the field through The Bill O’Neill Way. The game day locker room in the renovated east side of the stadium will also recognize Coach O’Neill. Thanks to all those former players who have helped make this happen. In addition, we will be creating a plaza on the north end of the stadium that will house a permanent bear statue, a gift from the 2014 senior class. I also want to thank Darron Hemann and Merrill Lynch for their support of this project.
Finally, the new BearFest Village and pregame traditions at Plaster will include a team walk through from the game day locker room to the field. Led by the cheerleaders and members of the band, the team will walk through BearFest Village and down the berm onto the field. This new tradition will allow students and fans to be a part of the Bear Walk. This will be an exciting addition for our fans and team. During the game, the berm in the north end zone will be a family area which will be priced accordingly and add additional game day excitement close to the playing field.
All of this will be unveiled for the home opener on Saturday, Sept. 13 when your Bears take on North Dakota at 6 p.m. Mark your calendars, and arrive early to experience the new and vastly improved BearFest Village.
Elsewhere on campus, progress is also being made on the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Academic Achievement Center. I’m extremely excited about this project for two reasons. First, it recognizes the legacy of a legendary pioneer in women’s athletics and her many contributions to our University. Second, our student-athletes will get a much needed facelift to the area they spend an enormous amount of time in. The project is scheduled to be completed prior to the start of the fall semester with an official dedication planned for Sept. 5 in conjunction with a celebration to honor Dr. Wynn’s legacy that evening.
Recently we have released some minor changes to our men’s basketball ticket pricing. For the third consecutive year we have not increased ticket prices or Bears Fund seat assessments. In fact we have reduced season ticket prices and have eliminated almost all the seat assessments in the upper level. More changes will be announced regarding single game pricing once we release the 2014-15 schedule. We are committed to improving our game day atmosphere and thus the experience for current and future Bears and Lady Bears season ticket holders. Check out the pricing options and get your tickets for what promises to be a fun run for our teams this winter.
Finally, don’t forget to mark you r calendar for the annual Auction Benefitting Athletics. That event is scheduled for Friday, August 15 at the Expo Center in Springfield. Check MissouriStateBears.com for more information, or call (417) 836-4143 for information on donations and tickets.
Enjoy the summer, and we’ll see everyone in August. Go Bears!!!