First off, even with the terrible performance during the last years of the Sherrill era, and the dissappointment of Croom's tenure, attendence continued to rise. Second, the AD wanted to do the first expansion in a way that would make a second expansion easy to do. A similar gain in attendence over the next 15 years we've seen over the past 15, and 80k wouldn't seem so far fetched.
Dan Mullen has brought passion and energy to Starkville, Mississippi. His football program is coming off a 9-4 season and a Gator Bowl romp over traditional power Michigan. In just two years, Mississippi State’s new coach has the school pushing to expand Davis-Wade Stadium by 5,000 to 7,000 seats.
But he’s only been in town for two years. It wasn’t so long ago that State was not the fan draw that it is today. Not to rain on MSU’s parade, but what if Mullen leaves for a bigger stage after next season? Will the next coach prosper? Will he keep fans excited?
Despite the possibility of a sudden downturn — Bulldog fans can ask Georgia and Tennessee supporters how quickly things can change — AD Scott Stricklin is already looking toward a second possible expansion of State’s home stadium.
If phase one takes off in the next few years as expected, Scott Field will be surrounded by up to 62,000 fans (compared to the current 55,000). But Stricklin has had his artists mock up what an 80,000-seat stadium would look like, too.
Now, if it seems like State’s AD has stars in his eyes, know that this second expansion project is targeted for “20-25 years” down the road, if it ever comes to be at all.
For now, however, the focus is on getting the first phase of expansion underway. And that’s a good thing. Because I don’t see any jet pack landing pads in the design for the 2031 stadium… and that will surely have to be fixed.