A series of tweets from ABC-17's Austin Kim last night told us that there has been a bit of rearrangement in Mizzou's athletics renovations list.
Got a chance to go one-on-one with #Mizzou athletic director Mike Alden today to talk about the football facilities...— Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) December 4, 2014
Alden said #Mizzou is putting the new indoor football facility on hold, priority will be the south endzone renovations.— Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) December 4, 2014
Alden said there's urgency to renovate that endzone, which will have football offices and frees up the MATC, where football currently is.— Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) December 4, 2014
Alden told me the decision to focus on south endzone facility (which will have new locker room, weight room) was made about a month ago.— Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) December 4, 2014
Alden said MU didn't have a concrete number of additional seats to the endzone renovations yet. No timeframe yet either.— Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) December 4, 2014
You'll hear from Mike Alden tonight on ABC 17 News at 9 and 10. Our extended one-on-one airs in the "Back To Atlanta" special Friday at 6:30— Austin Kim (@AustinKKim) December 4, 2014
So, based on those @AustinKKim tweets, it appears as if Gary Pinkel's Tiger Talk lobbying paid off.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) December 4, 2014
Interesting comment from Alden via @AustinKKim on Memorial Stadium south end zone facility. Pinkel's been pushing for project for a while— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 4, 2014
Been hearing that Chancellor Loftin has been big advocate for south end zone facility (coaches' offices, locker rooms, etc.)— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 4, 2014
In his brief article, Kim mentions that this priority shift shouldn't affect the timetable for completion of the new softball stadium. Plans for Stubble Field continue apace.
From a visibility perspective, this is a pretty big shift in priorities. The focus of this project is more on renovation and behind-the-scenes expansion -- it's not expected to add 10,000 seats or anything -- but it could be a boon for recruiting (arms race!), it could be pretty impressive to look at, and it will free up quite a bit of pretty work space for the other Mizzou sports. Can't wait to hear more about this in the coming weeks.
I guess this goes to show ... if your head coach (who just won a second division title) and your popular new chancellor want something, they'll probably get it.