Missouri varsity Memorial Stadium regal plans


University of Missouri appoints DLR Architects Image: California Memorial Stadium, Roman Fuchs, CC BY-SA 3.0

The University of Missouri has chosen the DLR Group, a Kansas City-based architecture firm, to serve as its consultant for the Memorial Stadium (Columbia, Missouri, US) Improvements project.

‘mutigers.com’ stated that the University of Missouri Director of Athletics Desireé Reed-Francois announced the above development recently. The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved the selection of the DLR Group during the Finance Committee’s portion of Board meeting.

The University of Missouri is a public land-grant research university in Columbia, Missouri (US). It is Missouri’s largest university and the flagship of the four-campus University of Missouri System. The Missouri University was founded in 1839 as the first public university West of the Mississippi River.

Omaha (US)-based the DLR Group is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation and adaptive reuse. Its promise is to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients, local communities and our planet.

The 62,621-capacity Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium is an outdoor sports stadium in Columbia, Missouri, United States, on the campus of the University of Missouri. It is primarily used for football and serves as the home field for the Missouri Tigers’ program.

The Missouri Tigers football program represents the University of Missouri in college football and competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Missouri’s football program dates back to 1890, and has appeared in 36 Bowl games.

Indianapolis (US)-based the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student-athletics among about 1,100 schools in the United States, and one in Canada. It also organizes the athletic programs of colleges and helps over 500,000 college student athletes who compete annually in college sports.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, is the highest level of college football in the United States. The FBS consists of the largest schools in the NCAA. As of the 2023 season, there are 10 Conferences and 133 schools in FBS.

The University of Missouri’s Memorial Stadium Improvements project aims to create an open-air mixed-use development in the North Concourse area. The project also includes adding premium seating and observation decks to the stadium’s North end zone. The project is expected to be completed by the 2026 football season.

The Board of Curators of the University of Missouri is a body consisting of nine members that governs the University of Missouri System, four State universities in the US State of Missouri.

‘mutigers.com’ further stated that in November 2023, the Board passed a resolution authorizing the university to issue a request for qualification to select an architectural and engineering firm to serve as the consultant for the football stadium renovation project.

The University of Missouri President Mun Choi appointed a selection committee, chaired by Reed-Francois, to review three firms for consideration. The committee included Mizzou Football Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz and the University of Missouri Curator Bob Blitz. The DLR Group was selected based on its established track record of completing several comparable college football stadium renovations in recent years, including the 77,500-capacity Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, the University of Houston’s 40,000-capacity TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas, and the University of Louisiana’s 36,900-capacity Cajun Field in Lafayette, Louisiana. The DLR Group will next conduct a pre-design study to develop programing plans for the Memorial Stadium for a fee not to exceed $400,000.

Maintained Michael Williams, University of Missouri Board of Curators Chair, “The Board of Curators is committed to investing in the progress of Mizzou (University of Missouri) Football, and the Memorial Stadium Improvement project is an exciting opportunity to capitalize on the success the program has enjoyed in 2023 and the overall momentum Mizzou Athletics has generated. This is a crucial time for the loyal fans around the State to support a project that’s integral to Mizzou’s future.”

The Memorial Stadium Improvements project aspires to create an open-air mixed-use development along the stadium’s North Concourse area with the potential to produce modernized year-round revenue opportunities that have become popular across professional sports. The project design will be committed to maintaining stadium views and engagement to the Mizzou campus North of the Memorial Stadium while minimizing construction impact onto future football season gameday activities.

Remarked Robert D. Blitz, University of Missouri Curator, “Excellence is the sole criteria for any judgment. In Southeastern Conference (SEC) football, excellence is only spelled CHAMPIONSHIP. Championships mandate facilities of championship quality. Unanimously, the DLR was selected by the committee for design of the Memorial Stadium to attract and retain the best athletes, provide the most vibrant and exhilarating gameday atmosphere and create everlasting victorious memories for the Mizzou Nation (a fan-run site for Mizzou Athletics).”

Birmingham (US)-based the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is an American college athletic conference whose member-institutions are located primarily in the South Central and Southeastern United States.

While cost estimates for the project will develop as programing plans are finalized, private donor contributions will fund the stadium renovations. The project is expected to be completed by mid-August 2026.

Commented Choi, “As we saw this year, Mizzou Football can galvanize our community and alumni, and with these critical improvements to the Memorial Stadium, we can further unite our State behind one vision for the future of Mizzou Football. This stadium project will strengthen the national brand of Mizzou Athletics as we continue building a championship culture at the University of Missouri.”

A new premium seating component is a core element in the university’s vision for the Memorial Stadium Improvement project, along with multiple open-air observation decks, a variety of improved and modernized food and beverage (F&B) concessions, new restrooms, new stadium gateway and gate system, improved wayfinding and graphics, new retail outlets, new football team recruiting room, and the integration of the new enhanced North End Zone videoboard. The Rock M behind the North end zone will be preserved as part of the renovations.

Added Reed-Francois, “Under Coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s leadership, we have great momentum with our football program and throughout the Athletics Department. We continue to raise the bar with this project. We set out to identify an architect that will bring to life a modern vision for the Memorial Stadium. The DLR Group is an optimal partner to develop a first-class facility that will be a source of pride for Mizzou fans throughout the country. We are grateful to the Board of Curators and President Choi for the support and leadership they have provided throughout this process as we continue enhancing our gameday experience to be the best in the country.”

Under the SEC Coach of the Year Eliah Drinkwitz, Mizzou Football has enjoyed its most successful season in nearly a decade, clinching the seventh 10-win campaign in program history. For the second straight year, Mizzou led the SEC in attendance growth with a 10.6 percent increase in average attendance. The final five games of the season at the Memorial Stadium were sellouts, marking the first time Mizzou has posted five consecutive sellouts since the 1980 season.

Concluded Drinkwitz, “We are grateful to the Board of Curators, President Choi and Desireé Reed-Francois for their continuing efforts in moving the North End Zone project forward. These efforts will greatly enhance the gameday experience for our dedicated, passionate and loyal fans. Keeping pace with others in the SEC through projects like this is extremely important from a recruiting standpoint. The atmosphere we’ve created at the Faurot Field has made an impact on recruits and their families, and the North End Zone project will take that up to another level.”

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