Trustees to vote on $18 million stadium expansion
A mockup of the proposed $18 million expansion project at the north end of Spartan Stadium, sourced from a university website. The project would create a two-level addition, which includes a recruitment center on the concourse, media rooms, upgraded locker rooms and team areas and shell space for future restroom and concession areas.
The MSU Board of Trustees is set to vote on an authorization to plan for an $18 million expansion to the north end zone of Spartan Stadium during its meeting Friday morning.
The proposed expansion would create a two-story addition complete with upgraded locker rooms and team spaces, media rooms and a recruitment center on the concourse level, as well as space reserved to house future concession, bathroom and maintenance needs.
MSU Trustee Mitch Lyons said the board discussed the matter during a work session Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday’s meeting.
“The general consensus is that (renovations are) needed whether we do it in one fell swoop or in stages,” he said. “It needs to be done to keep us competitive with other Big Ten schools.”
Lyons is a former MSU football player who played at Spartan Stadium under fellow trustee and former head coach George Perles.
If approved, the project entirely would be financed by a fundraising initiative from the athletics department.
Deputy Athletics Director Greg Ianni said while nothing is set in stone, he believes procuring donors for the project will not be difficult.
He also said the renovations are critical to maintain game-day operations at Spartan Stadium.
“The locker room space is so past its usefulness,” Ianni said. “The space is too small, and the spaces used for home and visiting teams (are) over 50 years old with little renovation to (them).”
When the planning phase is complete, the board will vote again to approve or deny the project moving forward into the construction phase. Ianni said if approved, the planning phase should begin within the next 10 days.
Recently, a $10 million scoreboard project was completed, which added two scoreboards to the north end zone and a 5,300-square-foot video board at the south end zone.
English junior Colin Konkel said because the project would be subsidized by fundraising efforts, it would be a worthwhile investment for the university.
“Football’s a big part of this school because it brings a lot of students to (school) and alumni back to the school,” he said.
The proposed recruitment center would be used precisely to bring students to MSU.
The center would be open for varsity teams to bring prospective recruits to the stadium and serve as somewhat of a reception room.
Lyons said with the football team’s recent success at Spartan Stadium — 15-straight victories in the venue — the renovations would not only serve an important need, but also reflect on MSU’s commitment to becoming an elite program.
“We run a first-class program, and we can’t have second-rate facilities,” he said.
“All our facilities are first-rate, short of that stadium area.”