COLUMBIA — The Missouri Athletics Department announced in June a $200 million master plan to upgrade the university’s athletics facilities. While most of the upgrades are at least a year off, fans attending the Missouri football team's season opener Saturday against Southeastern Louisiana at Memorial Stadium will be the first to see the new, redesigned Faurot Field turf along with several other upgrades.
As soon as spring practice wrapped up in April, Missouri turf specialist Josh McPherson began the process of ripping up the old, worn-out field turf and replacing it with a new, state-of-the-art playing surface. The new field features brighter yellows and whites, along with darker black in the end zone. The diamonds that formerly spelled out “Missouri” in each end zone now spell “Mizzou.” The Southeastern Conference emblem is prominently featured at both 25-yard lines. Missouri will be one of only three teams in the SEC to play on artificial turf, with the other 11 playing on natural grass.
For the past two seasons, the Touchdown Terrace was made up of temporary metal bleachers behind the south end zone. For 2012, the metal bleachers, which are now considered “Field Level Reserved General Admission” seating, have been moved to the north end zone, just in front of the Rock M. The south end zone now features 10 rows of new, black, backed seats that have taken the Touchdown Terrace moniker. The seats cost $100 per game and ticket holders have access to catered food throughout the game.
The marching band is on the move for 2012. The band, which formerly sat behind the south end zone, will now be stationed in the southeast corner of the student section. To accommodate the band’s easy access, the Athletics Department installed two stairways leading to the field.
The “Tiger Walk” bridge
Two hours before every home game, the football team walks from the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex to Memorial Stadium via the pedestrian bridge overlooking Providence Road. This trip, know as the Tiger Walk, is a tradition that fans come watch and take part in. As part of the university’s rebranding effort, the bridge was stripped of its large block “M.” Instead, the bridge now features the Tiger head logo.