South End Zone Construction Begins

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COLUMBIA - After months of anticipation, Mizzou broke ground on its South End Zone project. 

According to the South End Zone website, the project will give state-of-the-art training facilities to Mizzou Football, create more premium seating and bring new jobs to Columbia. 

Tim Hickman, Mizzou's deputy athletic director, said the old stadium needed a better configuration.

"We're gonna get seats closer to the field," Hickman said. "It didn't quite work with the existing seats in the south end zone, so the best option for us was to tear this down and start from a better situation."

When the project is complete, the south end zone will have 16 suites, a 750-person field-level club, a 1,254-seat indoor club area with dining service and restrooms and general seating for about 1,324 fans. 

Long-time Mizzou fan Bruce Hackmann hasn't missed a game in more than 30 years and said he's looking forward to seeing the renovations. 

"Being in the SEC, it's all about being competitive and you have to have great facilities and you have to have great fan support," he said. "Having better facilities is going to help us recruit better which is really the key to building a winning program."

The project costs $98 million dollars. Hickman said alumni donated part of the money and the rest came from bonding paid off by the premium seating.

The website quotes Coach Barry Odom as saying, "I deeply appreciate each of the donors who have stepped forward to make this happen for Mizzou Football and the Board of Curators' approval of this facility." 

The project was approved in August.

"I believe that this facility will have a lasting impact on our football program for the next 40 years, if not longer; it's that impactful," Odom said. 

The project is expected to be completed in August 2019.