Missouri unveiled its long-promised plans to upgrade its athletic facilities as it prepares for its move to the SEC.
One of those facilities expected to get an upgrade is Missouri's football stadium, Memorial Stadium. The Tigers' home currently has a capacity of 71,004, but the plan is to add at least 6,000 more seats, including 5,200 bleacher seats on the stadium's east side and 800 to 900 premium seats. New restrooms, lounges and concession stands are also expected.
Missouri athletic director Mike Alden will present the proposal to university curators on Tuesday afternoon, and a vote is expected Wednesday morning.
Mizzou is also seeking to improve its tennis and golf facilities and its softball and baseball stadiums. The projects would cost $72 million in 30-year debt financing through revenue bonds. A plan summary suggests Missouri would recoup its entire investment through the sale of additional premium seats and luxury boxes.
I took my first trip to Memorial Stadium this spring when I visited the Tigers and the first thing that stood out to me was the size of the stadium. While I liked the rustic feel, I did think the venue was a bit small. But size isn't everything when it comes to impressive home environments.
Look at Arkansas' Razorback Stadium or Mississippi State's Davis Wade Stadium. The Hogs and Bulldogs currently play in venues with capacities of 72,000 and 55,082, respectively. Last time I checked, those weren't exactly the easiest places to play in the league.
To see the capacities of all 14 SEC teams, check out this blog post from The Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger's Brandon Marcello.
The added seats would rank Mizzou ninth in the SEC in stadium capacity, with eight holding at least 80,000. So Missouri still won't be one of the leaders of the pack when it comes to venue size, but seats don't make the atmosphere, fans do. Sure, more can make more noise, but that doesn't mean a smaller number of fans can't make things intimidating for visiting teams.
Let's see what Georgia players have to say about Mizzou's atmosphere after Sept. 8.