Missouri offers peek at east-side stadium expansion

04/19/2014 6:34 PM

04/19/2014 6:34 PM

The east-side expansion at Memorial Stadium is on budget and expected to be completed on schedule before the start of the fall season, according to Missouri executive associate athletic director Tim Hickman.

“It’s exciting,” Hickman said. “We had a number of goals in doing this project. Obviously, getting new premium seating and better amenities for our fans, those were primary, but also to add some stature and some grandeur to the stadium. I think we’ve done some of that, too. It gives the stadium some more presence and overall will provide a better experience.”

Hickman said the stadium’s capacity next season will be approximately 71,000, which is the same as before last season, when the project closed off 3,000 seats that were being absorbed by the new construction.

Hickman took reporters on a tour of the new premium seating, which will add 1,200 loge and club seats, on Saturday before the annual Black and Gold Game.

The new upper deck, which will provide the highest vantage point for fans, adds 4,200 seats and the east-side concourse has been doubled in size.

Hickman said Missouri will not restore bleachers to the north end on the field or the concourse next season, but that doing so would expand the stadium’s capacity to approximately 75,000.

Improvement noted

Missouri announced its most-improved awards for spring camps.

Freshman Michael Fairchild, an early enrollee from Blue Valley West, won the offensive line award and Staley graduate Morgan Steward picked up the running backs award.

Quarterback Maty Mauk, wide receiver Darius White and tight end Sean Culkin picked up the other awards on offense.

Meanwhile, on defense, Josh Augusta and Evan Winston were dubbed the most-improved linemen, while Michael Scherer picked up the linebacker award, Kenya Dennis won the cornerbacks award and Duron Singleton nabbed the safety award.

Kicker Andrew Baggett of Lee’s Summit North won the award for special teams.

White injured

Missouri escaped the Black and Gold Game relatively unscathed.

Senior wide receiver Darius White suffered a right shoulder sprain, but he said the Tigers’ medical staff told him it won’t require surgery.

Senior running back Marcus Murphy played a limited number of snaps, but that was by design after he suffered an ankle injury midway through Missouri’s spring practice.

Coach Gary Pinkel confirmed that junior running back Russell Hansbrough had surgery Friday to repair a torn labrum.

“So, we got all our surgeries done,” Pinkel said. “I think we’re good there.”

Recruiting news

Missouri landed its seventh commitment for the 2015 recruiting class Saturday when Webster Groves athlete Cam Hilton chose the Tigers over Indiana and other suitors, according to PowerMizzou.com.

Hilton (6-foot-1, 175) is expected to play defensive back at Missouri. He committed before the Black and Gold Game.

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