Field of dreams for Southern

Duct tape not cutting it

‘Duct tape not cutting it”

If we build it, will they come?

Missouri Southern’s field of dreams, Fred G. Hughes Stadium, is in dire need of renovations. But will all the work pay off for athletes only?

The University has shelled out $50,000 for an architectural study of the home to six varsity teams. It is clear as the voice in Ray Kinsella’s corn that Southern will move forward with upgrades. And they are needed.

There haven’t been improvements to the stadium since 1973. Additionally, it’s embarrassing to bring recruits on tours, there are accessibility issues, there are possible corporate sponsorship opportunities, fan comfort concerns and coaching and teaching improvements are needed.

The Lions compete in the MIAA, one of the most competitive conferences in NCAA Division II athletics. And unlike the players in the movie, we want to keep ours alive. Right now, the football team is forced to cross Duquesne to get from the locker room to the field in what amounts to a live-action game of football Frogger. Once there, we need to provide for medical help in case someone is injured.

It’s a shame we can’t say one of the reasons for the improvements is we need more seats due to ever increasing demand from the student body. We suggest the University encourage rather than discourage tailgating and we further encourage students to show up. It is easy to complain about nothing to do at Southern, but it takes imagination to look at our stadium and see the possibilities.

The numbers prove the apathetic attitudes. Hughes Stadium has a seating capacity of 7,000 fans, yet for the first two home football games only 5, 071 and 4,935 passed through its turnstiles. Southern, you can surely do better. At other conference schools, fans make football games an all-day event and spend the week in anticipation. The proposed improvements will surely be nice, but what good will they be if the stadium has all the intensity of a gilded tomb?

Perhaps these renovations will remind us that everything that was once good could be again.