Christened after Olympic sprinter Don Magruder Scott, one of State’s first football superstars, the 105-year-old historic facility (the nation’s second-oldest FBS campus football stadium) has undergone seven renovation and expansion projects during its history. The first game at Scott Field came with an MSU win over Marion (Ala.) Military Institute, 54-0, on Oct. 3, 1914.
More than $100 million in football projects have been initiated in the last few years. Of that figure, $75 million of it went towards the nationally praised 2014 expansion.
The players’ locker room features high-gloss metal panel ceiling, color-changing LED linear lighting, internally lit ceiling logos and a state-of-the-art sound system.
In addition, a new recruiting lounge spanning over 3,000 square feet is adjacent to the locker room. The previous home locker room in the south end zone now serves as the visiting team locker room.
The $3.6 million project was privately funded through the Bulldog Club. LPK Architects was the project’s architect. ICM was the construction manager, and Copeland and Johns served as the general contractor.
Completed in August 2014, the north end zone expansion increased capacity to 61,337, provided additional premium seating, elevators, restrooms and concessions along with a completely new west side concourse. Construction began in August 2012.
The construction contract for the project was awarded to the Harrell Contracting Group of Jackson, Mississippi. Harrell won the construction project in a university sealed bid process.
The north end zone addition created a total of 8,815 new seats, which, factored with the loss of the previously existing bleacher seating in the north end zone, resulted in a net 6,255-seat increase. Included in those 8,815 seats were 7,076 grandstand seats, 1,155 Scoreboard Club seats, 236 loge seats, 22 traditional suites, totaling approximately 288 seats, and 60 field-level suite seats. Additionally, standing room availability and ADA-compliant seating were also included in the project.
In 2011, the program watched as each game recorded a then top-15 all-time attendance mark at Davis Wade Stadium, including 57,871 against Alabama (second) and 56,924 vs. LSU (then fourth). The 335,695 total fans to watch a game in Starkville was then the highest ever for a six-game schedule at the venue.
State fans broke the school record for total attendance again in 2013 with 389,868 total fans, including a seven-game record average of 55,695. On Nov. 16, 2013, 57,211 people wrapped in Maroon and White attended the Alabama game, the fourth-largest crowd in school history.
During the memorable 2014 campaign, the first in the new expansion, MSU set attendance records for single-season total attendance (427,892), single-game average attendance (61,127) and single-game attendance (62,945). The 2014 Bulldogs also tied the school record for home wins as their 7-0 mark matched the 1999 team. The seven home victories also helped State to the first 10-win regular season in program history.
MSU broke total attendance (432,490) and single-game average attendance (61,784) for the third straight year in 2015. That year, the Bulldogs eclipsed 50,000 in season ticket sales for the first time in program history. The previous high for season ticket sales was 45,575 in 2014, and prior to that was 43,894 in 2013.
National media have proclaimed the new north end zone expansion makes Davis Wade Stadium arguably the noisiest from start to finish in college football. A sea of Maroon and White in The Junction turned out for the first-ever SEC Nation broadcast in Starkville on the SEC Network prior to State’s thumping of Texas A&M on Oct. 4, 2014. One week later, ESPN College GameDay made its first appearance in Starkville as No. 3 MSU battled No. 2 Auburn in a matchup of the highest ranked teams in the stadium’s history. ESPN personality Lee Corso donned a Bulldog mascot head to a roar from the crowd. Hours later, MSU topped Auburn, 38-23, before a record crowd of 62,945 in the loudest game in school history. The victory ascended the program to its first No. 1 national ranking.