Memorial Stadium completed construction on the south end zone at the end of August.
The project added 1,200 club seats, 16 suites and 1,320 general seats to the stadium, as well as a membership-only, field-level club and a new football training facility. Seating capacity is now 61,050.
“I think the goal is always to fill every seat, not just in the south end zone, but it is a great seat to have,” said Jay Luksis, MU executive associate athletics director of marketing and revenue generation.
“Folks that were relocated and moved out of the old south end zone were given first opportunity to move back into the new south end zone,” he said.
Luksis said the 1,320 seats located in the general seating are virtually sold out.
“All the suites are sold out, the bunker club is at 75% to 80% capacity now,” he added. “The club seats (are) still where we have some work to do.”
According to the MU Athletics website, the university decided to expand the stadium to “provide financial resources to maximize the impact of the overall student athlete experience and to uphold the Department of Athletics’ core values of respect, integrity, gratitude, humility and together.”
The football training facility adds a weight room that is open to other sports, said Ashley Moore, MU executive associate athletics director of the Tiger Scholarship Fund.
“There’s a lot more opportunities for our other sports to be in there at different times,” Moore said. “It just makes for a better experience for all of our athletes.”
The MU Athletics website said that the project cost a total of $98 million.
“We raised over $50 million in philanthropic gifts for the building, so half of it was paid for by philanthropic donations. The other half will be generated from ticket sales, club seats, suites and bunkers,” Moore said.
According to the Deputy Athletics Director Nick Joos, 98% to 100% of premium seating was filled prior to the expansion.
“All premium seats have more variety of beer, wine and liquor. It is a full-service bar whereas the general service area has only beer and wine, and it has a limited option of beer and wine,” Moore said.
The South End Zone Project also includes a new 160-by-30 foot scoreboard as well as a ramp that will double as Truman’s ceremonial entrance to the field.
“I do expect more fans in the building this year, not necessarily because of the south end zone,” Luksis said, “but because of the excitement around the team and the improvements that we have made.”