IHL Agenda: New Roof for Hump; Athletic Budget; Better Phone Service at DWS

Humphrey Coliseum is getting a new roof.

Mississippi State is spending $1,295,750 to “re-roof” the 36-year-old facility. It’s the original roof they put on in 1975, and it covers about 84,000 square feet. The project is pending approval by the IHL Board of Trustees, which meets Thursday.

The project will be paid for through both the Bulldog Club and University Operation and Maintenance funds. Athletics director Scott Stricklin expects it to be completed before summer is out.

“It’s actually been something we had in the planning, we’ve been budgeting for it and planning for it, we’re just going to knock it out this year,” Stricklin said.

He added that there haven’t been any major issues with the roof, but that it’s simply “time to go get a new one.”

Several other items related to MSU athletics are up for approval:

• It’s time for new athletic department budgets, what with the new fiscal year beginning July 1. MSU will see a 2.3 percent increase for the 2011-12 fiscal year (that’s a $905,315 increase), with a total budget of $40,064,497, according to an MSU official. That number includes only public money.

Using numbers Stricklin gave me a few weeks ago, private giving should bump the actual budget number into the range of $55-57 million.

• Good news, AT&T customers: You should finally be able to use your phone during home football games.

One of the agenda items is a revenue lease agreement that will allow the cell phone carrier to install a “distributed antenna system” inside Davis Wade Stadium so that those in attendance can actually send and receive calls, text messages, etc.

“We talk a lot about creating great experiences, and that’s been a frustration for a certain segment of our customers,” Stricklin said. (And for sports reporters, too.)

The 15-year agreement will bring in a minimum of $961,132.21 in revenue, starting with $48,000 this year and escalating each year. AT&T – or as it’s called in the IHL board book, New Cingular Wireless (NCW) – will in turn be able to sublease antenna space to other carriers (excepting Cellular South, which already has an antenna system in place), and MSU will receive 30 percent of that rental revenue.

• Hold on, bonus item: We already knew this was coming, but the board is set to grant approval of the use of 6.65 acres of land on which MSU will build the new football complex. The land will be leased to the Bulldog Club, through which this project is being paid for. Use of the land was the only part of this project that required IHL approval.

The lease will commence Aug. 1 and remain in place for 18 months, or until the complex is completed, whichever comes first.

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