Murray State Athletic Facilities Get Upgrade

29 June 2017

Important facility upgrades are happening this summer for a number of athletic facilities at Murray State. "It's always important to see facilities being upgraded for our program," said MSU Director of Athletics Allen Ward. "It's a critical part of keeping this program at a championship level."

In the works for several years, the Stewart Stadium lighting project is underway. The new LED lighting from Musco will bring the stadium up to NCAA standards and provide significant energy and annual maintenance savings for the university.

"I'm glad we were able to generate the resources necessary to see this project through," Ward said. "With today's technology, it was becoming more and more wasteful to operate the lights.  The new lighting will not only improve our television and digital productions, but significantly reduce energy costs while eliminating costly annual maintenance for the university."

Also coming to Stewart Stadium this fall is a new videoboard and instant replay.  The current scoreboard will be replaced with a new LSI 16mm videoboard measuring 18'9" high and 33'6" wide.

"We've been working methodically to raise enough funds to install a videoboard at Stewart Stadium," Ward said. "And now that instant replay is being introduced this year in Ohio Valley Conference play, the timing is perfect. This will really add to the fan experience at Racer Football and provide a new revenue source for the program."

Other projects that Racer fans will notice this fall include a new track surface, cleaner stadium walls and surfaces, a new stadium PA system, and facility branding.

"The track looks outstanding, Beynon did a great job and the track really needed attention considering how many folks use the facility," Ward said. "And the stadium walls and surfaces are getting a good scrub down this summer.  I can't wait to see the stadium without all of the black grime built up over the years.  And to top it all off, several facilities, including Stewart Stadium, are being enhanced by some key strategic branding initiatives."

Across campus, new team dugouts are the latest upgrade for Cutchin Field, home of the back-to-back OVC soccer champions.

"Cutchin Field is one of the most unique places to watch women's college soccer and this program is positioned for long-term success under Coach Jeremy Groves," Ward said. "These enhancements will build upon our recruiting accomplishments and continue to demonstrate our commitment to Murray State women's soccer."

And finally, the RFP process is underway to replace the 1998 original center hung scoreboard at the CFSB Center with a new state-of-the-art videoboard.

"A new center hung 6mm videoboard will be in place for basketball season," Ward added. "It will be a showpiece for an already outstanding arena, while the current corner videoboards will be used for continual display of hustle stats.  Furthermore, DVSPort will also be introduced for instant replay this season thanks to an important OVC initiative.  It's going to be an exciting season of Racer Basketball at the CFSB Center."

Other improvements include new landscaping around Stewart Stadium and the new Reagan Field pressbox, thanks to the generosity of MSU alum Mr. Rob Stanfa of Rolling Hills Nursery.  The Racer Room, used for many special events throughout the year, is receiving a facelift and all three courts (CFSB, Bill Morgan Floor, and Volleyball) are being resurfaced and restored. And the Feasibility Study already underway for a new Athletics Center is progressing on schedule. All-in-all, approximately $1.9M in improvements will be recognized this summer.

"Without the generosity and support of our donors, friends, and our Racer Club, none of this would be possible," Ward said. "I am grateful for the external support we receive that allows us to continually make important facility enhancements.

Ward also acknowledged his staff and key departments on campus. "I want to thank my Assistant AD for Facilities Brock Rydecki as he's done an outstanding job coordinating and managing these projects."

"And I very much appreciate David Burdette, Jason Youngblood, Matt Whittenburg and the entire Facilities Management staff.  They're hard work and dedication has been key in our ability to see these projects become a reality," stated Ward. "That goes for the Office of Procurement as well."

"Of course, none of this would have happened without the support of President Davies and his executive leadership team," echoed Ward. "I don't want to sound like a broken record, but we're very fortunate to have a leader that recognizes the influential role athletics can play for a thriving institution like Murray State."