Why No One Should Be Upset with the NEW Dudy Noble Field


When renderings for Mississippi State’s new baseball stadium were released last August, it seemed like everyone was excited about the new direction. I mean, a brand new state-of-the-art baseball stadium that would be the envy of every college baseball program in the country – not a bad thing, right?

Well, you can’t please everyone. And while those who didn’t like it kept their mouth shut during the excitement of the moment, they’ve begun to mutter their words of displeasure as time has passed since the announcement. Incredibly, there are people opposed to building a new stadium.

1. The Left Field Lounge

People – the Left Field Lounge is not going away.

No, you will not get to build a homemade rig and haul it to DNF because now there will be permanent structures. So what?

It is amazing to me that we are still allowed to use these old rigs. Some of you may have been living under a rock, or perhaps not involved in an industry where safety is a concern, but in this day in age safety is of the utmost importance. And really, why shouldn’t it be? Mississippi State is paying insurance premiums to protect themselves from an eventual accident let alone the horror of a serious or God forbid fatal accident that could occur.

There will still be grilling. There will still be fun. It will still be unlike any other college baseball experience. No one is trying to take the Left Field Lounge away.

Look at the bright side:

  • you don’t have to build, re-enforce and haul your rig back and forth every year
  • maybe we won’t look like the Beverly Hillbillies with a brand spanking new stadium featuring an outfield like presently constructed

2. The cost of going to a game

Yes, the cost of going to a Mississippi State baseball game is probably going to increase.

How much money do these people think tickets are going to cost? $100 a piece? C’mon – you can go to a Braves game for $12-15 a ticket if you want to. If you want to go to a game, then go.

Is the new stadium going to cater to people who can afford premium seating? YES!

You have to adapt to society’s changes. Every game is on TV or internet TV, so it’s getting harder and harder to get folks to come out to the ballpark when they can just watch it in their recliner. It’s not like 20 or even 10 years ago when you had to actually be at Dudy Noble Field to see the game. So that means a focus on premium seating options. Skyboxes and expensive seats behind the dugout close to the action – people want an extra incentive to go to the game other than just being there.

And please, spare me the idea that this is exclusivity. That’s exactly what the LFL has been for many years. How many people sit in the bleachers at DNF and wish they were out on one of the rigs enjoying the atmosphere. Why aren’t they? They don’t know anyone. When I was in college I never had a friend with direct access, so every time I watched the game from the lounge it was with a friend of a friend. That’s how most people are, and it’s part of life. Some folks are more fortunate than others.

3. Lifetime Ticket Holders

In the 1980s we decided to sell lifetime seats to fans who continued to buy season tickets each year. As long as they bought tickets, they could have their seats. There are still 3,500 folks who’ve soaked up almost 30 years of that deal. That’s more than a lifetime sentence in prison, so you’ve got your money’s worth.

This was a terrible deal in the first place. It presents no options for further revenue in the future. It was an incredibly short-sided view by the athletic administration at the time, but it’s no surprise considering our history of decision making in these matters. Aside from revenue, the grandstands are constantly empty because these folks show up to only a handful of games, simply renewing their season tickets in hopes MSU makes a Regional – which is why they want access to those prime seating locations in the first place.

The current administration is having to make up for the bad deals made in the past. If that means grandpa gets pushed to the side, it’s just the harsh reality. Where’s the whining for the younger folks who haven’t been able to get those seats in the past because grandpa was taking them despite their offers of more money? Finally, MSU has wised up and gone with the folks who have more money rather than “I got here first so it’s mine”. It’s capitalism – customer with the most money is the boss.

4. Tradition

Where is the tradition going to go? The Left Field Lounge will still be in tact. We will still wear maroon and white (aside from the other Adidas crap we are currently wearing). It will still be baseball.

MSU is going to build a brand new baseball stadium that is going to be awesome! It’s going to provide a better experience for everyone who attends the game (outside of the people in the LFL who’ll have their hands crossed because they had to throw away that spare 2 x 4 rather than use it on their homemade rig).

No one can kill tradition. What makes a good tradition is that it can survive through the generations without dying. The SEC outlawed cowbells for 36 years but they are more alive now than ever. Nothing will be lost when the new Dudy Noble Field is built. It will only improve the baseball program, and hopefully help it find the elusive thing it’s always been missing: a national championship.