Mississippi State has Made Remarkable Strides in Game Atmosphere


Nov 14, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; A general view of Davis Wade Stadium during a game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide game. The Crimson Tide defeated the Bulldogs 31-6. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago, the Mississippi State football team was at a cross roads. The athletic department, led by Scott Stricklin, knew they had a chance to capitalize by selling commercials on the mega video boards at each end zone. They also could sell sponsorships to certain in game events. It was a great way to bolster the finances of the athletic department.

But in doing so, the atmosphere of the game was taking a huge hit. Our other co-editor Josh Barnhill wrote about this during the 2013 season. Josh brought a lot of attention to it as well when he was writing at FWtCT. It got so bad, that Josh tagged Stricklin on a tweet and Scott responded.

So has it gotten better? Absolutely.

When Mississippi State was climbing their way to the top of the polls in 2014, there were numerous writers from all across the country descending upon Starkville. Almost every single one of them left with something remarkably positive to say about what the game day atmosphere was like. The most recent example comes from Kevin Scarbinksy of Al.com.

That wasn’t the only positive Scarbinsky had to say about the atmosphere at Davis Wade Stadium. He went on later to say this.

"To all those Bulldog fans shining those cell phone flashlights and singing along to Don’t Stop Believin’, they make Davis Wade Stadium the most fun place to watch a football game in the SEC."

Mississippi State still has commercials and they still do some of the gimmicky stuff almost everyone else does. But they have toned it down considerably. I went to a game in Starkville in 2012 and another one in 2014. There was a stark contrast to the way the in game promos were handled between the two years.

Next: Will Mississippi State Have to Rebuild in 2016??

Scott Stricklin and his staff deserve a lot of credit. Among SEC schools, Mississippi State’s financial resources are among the lowest. He easily could have buried his head in the sand and said we have to maximize revenue at every opportunity, even if it hurts the atmosphere at our stadium. Stricklin didn’t do that. he made changes, and Davis Wade is better off because of it.