Including nearly 600 maroon chair back seats installed in the arena’s east stands prior to the start of the 2006 campaign, the volleyball-exclusive facility, featuring 12,000 square feet of hardwood flooring, has arena seating for more than 2,000.
Fifteen of the 20 most-attended volleyball events at the Newell-Grissom Building have occurred in the last five years. MSU eclipsed the 1,000-mark in attendance twice in 2011, including a facility-record 3,021 that packed the arena August 26 for a season-opening match against Southern Illinois. MSU and Florida were the only SEC teams to eclipse the 3,000-attendance mark in a regular season match in 2011. The Bulldogs also brought in a crowd of 4,525 in a 3-0 victory against No. 25 Kentucky in an Oct. 14 matchup at Humphrey Coliseum, setting the state of Mississippi’s attendance record for a volleyball match.
To kick off the Julie Darty era, significant renovations were done to Newell-Grissom with the addition of a high-definition Daktronics video board, as well as DVSport replay capabilities. Other upgrades included new graphics inside the facility, which brings a whole new feeling to the arena: new window banners on all windows, “StarkVegas” wall wraps in the main lobby, both ends of the court and locker room hallways. The hospitality room is now called the Family Room, which includes Hail State dimensional lettering and door wraps that will be used for pregame meals and other activities for the players. There has also been an addition of an officials’ locker room with ample room for officials.
Prior to year two of the Julie Darty era, the Newell-Grissom Building was renovated to enhance the student-athlete experience. The updates included an improved locker room and the addition of a study lounge, video room, team lounge and fueling station.