Mississippi State announced plans for a $40 million renovation of Polk-Dement Stadium at Dudy Noble Field on Tuesday, plans aimed at vaulting MSU's facility to the top of the college baseball world. Photo by: MSU Media Relations
August 12, 2014 5:25:58 PM
STARKVILLE - Since its major renovation in 1987, Mississippi State's Dudy Noble Field set the standard in college baseball.
On Tuesday, that standard was shattered.
In an ambitious plan that would place its facility in rarified air among college baseball facilities, MSU announced a $40 million overhaul of Polk-Dement Stadium at Dudy Noble Field on Tuesday afternoon that features a two-tiered grandstand, additional seats, a completely revamped Left Field Lounge and the introduction of the Left Field Lofts, 25 suites complete with bedrooms and live-in capability.
"Mississippi State deserves the best baseball facility in the country," said MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin. "In 1987, MSU had the vision to build a premier on-campus baseball facility before anyone else. Now, 30 years later, it was time.
"This will provide our fans, players and staff the best ballpark in the nation."
The design team of Wier Boerner Allin Architecture, of Jackson, and renowned baseball stadium experts Populous, in consultation with MSU alum Janet Marie Smith, produced the proposed Dudy Noble Field Master Plan concept. Populous has designed 20 of Major League Baseball's 30 current stadiums.
In a multi-faceted release that featured pictures, video and a press release timed for 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, MSU, along with its architectural and design partners, changed the game in regard college baseball facilities.
"So much creativity has gone into it," said MSU head baseball coach John Cohen, who led the Bulldogs to the College World Series Championship Series in 2013. "There are things that exist within this concept that simply don't exist within college baseball."
And the list of groundbreaking concepts is long. The renovated stadium, which will include a grandstand that will be completely rebuilt from the ground up, removes bleacher seating entirely and adds grandstand seats stretching half the distance of each outfield foul line, also addresses the long-held tradition of MSU's Left Field Lounge, which will be preserved in the redesign with some modernization.
"When we started talking about the Left Field Lounge, we knew we better not mess this up," said Stricklin. "We had to ask ourselves how to take all the things that make the Left Field Lounge special and improve it without losing that uniqueness. We want every one of those spots to be unique."
Currently, there are 86 rigs with designated spots in the Left Field Lounge, and the rendering made available on Tuesday featured 86 spots for outfield tailgating. The rigs will be gone, replaced by modernized spaces that will be completely adaptable and customizable to the lease-holder, as Strickilin added, "If they want chairbacks in there, we'll put chairbacks. If they want a platform where they can put their own chairs, we can do that, too."