The construction of Missouri football’s south end zone complex at Memorial Stadium has brought another change to the Tigers’ gameday operations: Mizzou’s bench will switch sidelines for 2018 home football games, the athletic department announced Tuesday.
MU will use the west sideline, while its opponents will use the east one. Mizzou has not been on the west sideline since the 2000 season. Missouri had considered switching sidelines a year ago.
“It was our intent to switch sidelines and make the necessary seating changes at the same time the South End Zone facility came on-line in 2019,” Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement. “However, as we’ve game-planned for 2018 with our staff, construction team and the Southeastern Conference, we believe that this move must be made in 2018 to avoid logistical challenges that would be problematic for both teams and the game officials.”
By switching sidelines, the teams will not have to cross Faurot Field upon entry and exit. During the construction, the Tigers will use portable trailers outside of the construction site as their locker rooms. The visiting team locker room remains in the stadium’s southeast corner.
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Sterk said in his statement that the move “also ensures that the heart of the construction site will not have to shut down for our home games, which will help the project say on track.”
To make this change, Missouri had to receive a waiver from the SEC, which does not typically allow the visiting team’s bench to be directly in front of the student section, as it will be for this 2018 season. Mizzou will adjust its student seating sections to comply with SEC regulations starting with the 2019 football season.