Mississippi State announced details regarding the construction of a football-only complex, and there are some big numbers involved.
The Seal Family Foundation of Gulfport is making a $12 million gift – the largest donation in MSU athletics history – which in itself will cover approximately half the cost of the complex. The school estimates a $20-25 million cost for the entire project, which will include renovation of the football practice fields.
In all, more $17 million has already been raised from 35-plus families, and every dime will come from private gifts made to the Bulldog Club.
"You see the design of the facility and the vision of the facility that we have will put us, I feel, as the premier football facility in the Southeastern Conference," coach Dan Mullen said. "…We can say we have one of, if not the best, facility within that conference. That'll mean we're one of the premier national football programs facility-wise."
Specs on the complex (which doesn't yet have an official name but will be named after the late Leo Seal Jr.):
• It will be about 80,000 square feet.
• It will include a new weight room, locker room, training room and coaches' offices.
• As I have reported before, it will be located between the practice fields and the Palmeiro Center.
"As a football team we're trying to go this season from good to great," Mullen said. "As a program, as a whole, we're trying to go from good to great. This will allow us to do that."
AD Scott Stricklin said construction won't begin until "we have raised sufficient funding to complete the project." He hopes to get work started by the end of this year.
The big thing about this facility is that it puts all the football people under one roof and separate from everyone else. The football staff currently resides in the Bryan Athletic Administration Building, along with the AD's office, media relations, the ticket office, the Bulldog Club, etc.
"There's constant interaction between the coaching staff and the team, is what I want and my true belief of what you need to have a successful football program, and within that have successful teams," said Mullen.
The Seal name is a familiar one to MSU folks. Seal Jr., a former MSU player, was a long-time donor, and his father, Leo Seal Sr., has his name on the M-Club Building as well as the Leo W. Seal Family Business Complex at the College of Business.
This $12 million gift is given by Seal Jr.'s twin sons, Lee and Leo, also former players.