MSU Seeks IHL Approval for Davis Wade Expansion

When the state’s IHL board meets Thursday, one of the agenda items will be the approval of LPK Architects as lead design professional for Mississippi State’s planned expansion and renovation of Davis Wade Stadium.

MSU has been working with LPK for a while now on this project, which will cost $80 million and be funded through revenue bonds. The Bulldog Club hired the Meridian firm, which has already completed “preplanning documents,” and MSU is requesting the approval in order to “not only keep the project on schedule but (to) utilize the professional fees that have already been expended.”

As has been reported before, MSU plans to add about 7,000 seats in a bowled-in north end zone, and that will include club seating atop that area and “bunker club” seats at the lower level. There are also plans to make improvements to the stadium’s west concourse and entryways, and a new brick facade will be built around the outside of the stadium.

Also included wll be “structural provisions to allow for a future upper deck.” Athletics director Scott Stricklin has said that this current expansion project is just phase one, and that he hopes the 55,082-seat stadium can someday expand to as many as 75,000 seats.

To be clear, the only thing being put on the table tomorrow is approval of using LPK. The revenue bonding issue will be brought forth later. Or, as Stricklin put it to me, “We won’t put those out there until we need money to pay for construction, so not until we’re getting ready to put a shovel in the ground.”

MSU has no timeline for when it will start the project. But the board book does give a breakdown of the project cost, thusly (numbers estimated):

• Construction cost: $69,000,000

• Architectural and engineering fees:$4,251, 516

• Miscellaneous project costs: $3,298,484

• Contingency: $3,450,000

Yep, that adds up to $80 million. The bonds will be repaid through ticket/seating revenue as well as private money.