Dudy Noble Field would be remade under a $40-million rebuilding plan unveiled by Mississippi State officials.
The Jackson, Miss., design team of Wier Boerner Allin Architecture and national sports-architecture design firm Populous, in consultation with MSU alum Janet Marie Smith, has produced the proposed Dudy Noble Field Master Plan concept. Populous has designed 20 of Major League Baseball’s current 30 ballparks, in addition to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, home of the NCAA Men’s College World Series.
The Dudy Noble Field Master Plan calls for a new double-tiered grandstand with chairback seating, an elevated concourse that encircles the playing field and allows a constant view of the game action, welcoming entry plazas, spacious restrooms, concessions, a kids’ play area, berm seating, upgraded field lighting, HD video board, digital ribbon signage, team areas (clubhouse, training room, equipment room, coaches’ offices, etc.) and dramatically improved aesthetics.
“Mississippi State Baseball first set the standard for making college baseball games a happening, becoming one of the first schools to invest in a modern facility nearly 30 years ago,” said MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin. “The new Dudy Noble Field Master Plan will provide our players, coaches and fans the best ballpark in all of college baseball.”
The timetable for the project is based on the Bulldog Club reaching its $20-million private fundraising goal.
Several premium seating opportunities will be available. The new stadium will feature approximately 50 skyboxes (25 in the main grandstand, 25 in the outfield) and club and loge seating. The outfield suites will feature two bedrooms, a bath, kitchen and living space and will be available for use year-round.
“This is a monumental day for our baseball program, and something every Bulldog player and fan deserves,” said MSU head baseball coach John Cohen. “As a former player and now coach, I know the greatest fans in college baseball will take action to ensure our players and coaching staff have the necessary amenities and resources to recruit and compete at the highest level.”
The Dudy Noble Field Master Plan will still showcase the unique and timeless features of the previous ballpark, including the Left Field Lounge. The outfield ‘spots’ will be built permanently into place. Each of the 86 spots will be customized to retain the traditional look of the Left Field Lounge but with access to added amenities such as electricity, storage and a common concourse connecting the entire outfield facility to the rest of the stadium. New restroom and concession areas will also be located in the renovated outfield area.
Capacity is planned to allow MSU to continue to host the largest crowds in college baseball. The new grandstand will hold more fans than the current grandstand, berm seating down each line will allow for greater general admission seating and the outfield should accommodate the same number of fans, if not more. Additionally, there will be excellent standing room views of the field surrounding the concourse that the current facility does not provide.
Mississippi State currently owns the top 10 on-campus crowds in NCAA baseball history. On April 12, 2014, Bulldog fans shattered the single-game NCAA on-campus attendance record as 15,586 fans witnessed a 6-5 MSU victory against in-state rival Ole Miss. This past spring, a school-record average of 8,127 fans attended games, breaking the mark set the previous season (7,617). In all, more than five million fans have seen a game at the stadium affectionately nicknamed “The Dude.”
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