When the Braves announced on Monday they were moving out of downtown Atlanta to build a new baseball stadium closer to the suburbs it got me thinking about possibilities regarding Mississippi State’s proposed upgrades to Dudy Noble Field. The Braves franchise is doing something out of the norm (not being located down town) – moving from a place they’ve always been to a place that gives them more space and ability to create the ultimate fan experience. What if Mississippi State thought completely outside the box and made a similar move?
Last month at a town hall type meeting regarding renovations and expansions to Dudy Noble Field, Scott Stricklin said nothing was off the table including starting over. He also said MSU baseball should not be second to anyone, as we should have “the very best” facility in the nation. So with that in mind, I proceed…
There are many different views on what Mississippi State should do with these proposed renovations. From big to small, they are all over the map and in every corner of the current stadium. It’s led some to believe that perhaps the best thing to do would be tear it down and start from scratch. But one of the problems is the confined space we have to work with. The Hump is in the way, there’s no doubt about it. I’ve seen Pearl’s Trustmark Park transposed on the current site, and while it fits somewhat, it’s real tight.
What if we purchased some land around Starkville and built a new off campus stadium? Sounds nuts, I know, but hear me out.
There is a ton of land around Starkville. Highway 82, maybe past the horse park, Hwy 25, etc. There’s got to be 15-20 acres available, and it couldn’t cost that much. With that land you can build whatever you want without any restrictions because of your surroundings.
One of the things I really like about the Braves new stadium is that it is on a 60 acre property with only 1/4 being used for the stadium. The rest will be for restaurants, bars, shops, tailgating areas, parking, etc. Some of those similar aspects could be incorporated with this. We could build our own little baseball community among our palace for the Diamond Dawgs….
- MSU baseball museum honoring all of our greats
- Restaurants to go to before and after the game
- Shops with MSU baseball memorabilia, clothing, etc.
- Housing for the players (yes, I know it’s against NCAA rules but wink wink, if you sign up first you get to live here – distract Bracky with some doughnuts or something)
- Full entrance plaza with games and stuff for kids
- Open concourse where you walk down to the grandstands, and the press/luxury boxes are overhead
- Left field / outfield lounge just as great as it ever was – but maybe now with a little safer contraptions (lawyers and stuff)
- Basically an awesome “Mississippi State Baseball Complex/Community” where you can spend an entire day/weekend with your friends and family enjoying baseball, food, weather, etc. without ever having to leave the property
How much money would it cost, who would own it, etc. – I don’t have those answers. This is just an idea. Obviously money would be the biggest hindrance to building the crown jewel of college baseball, but if we were able to achieve this I think it would solve all the issues. Of course, I can hear some old timers saying you can’t tear down a stadium like DNF where we’ve had so much success and move across town. Well, that is just silly superstition – there is no magic in the concrete and steel that makes up the stadium, but in the players, coaches and fans that make up Mississippi State baseball.