After two years of construction and $98 million spent, MU‘s South End ZoneProject is nearing completion.
The UM System Board of Curators approved the plan on Aug. 25, 2017. According to MU athletics, funding was provided through infrastructure funds that accounted for $800,000, about $50 million in long-term debt financing, and the rest from private gifts. Construction finally began in March 2018.
Deputy Athletics Director Nick Joos has been a part of the project since it broke ground over a year ago. Progress has come along, but thanks to a long winter, lots of work is still to be done, he said.
“We’re trying to make up a little bit of ground because we were supposed to be in there a couple of months ago,” Joos said. “But we’re optimistic ... if all things go well, we’ll be able to go in and take occupancy.”He expects that to happen in mid-July.
The projected end date is currently set for Aug. 31, just before the football home opener on Sept. 7 against West Virginia. Some of the new state-of-the-art facilities that players and fans can look forward to include a brand new locker room, weight room and club and suite seating.
“I believe the student athlete experience will be greatly enhanced,” Joos said. “And then as far as the fan experience goes … all of the seats that were in the South End Zone were of the bleacher variety, now we’ve got a mixture club seats and some bleachers with backs, and additional premium seating opportunities.”
Missouri was able to acquire three four-star recruits, as well as the big transfer of former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant. With the new additions and upgrades, Joos said he is confident it can be a boost to getting some of the top recruits in the nation, and potentially make MU a powerhouse in the SEC.
“I think that it’s already starting to pay great dividends in our recruiting,” Joos said. “The people who come on campus now and see it as just a rendering, and now they are seeing it come out of the ground up before their eyes, can really see what a great facility it’s going to be.”
Tommy Yarrish is a student at Bridgeland High School in Cypress, Texas.