Ole Miss and Mississippi State’s football stadiums are among 18 venues targeted by Congress for future preservation and modernization efforts.
The Congressional Historic Stadium Caucus, established by co-chairs Congressmen Garret Graves, R-La., and Mark Pocan, D-Wis., was launched with intentions to update some of college football’s most historic stadiums, many of which are over 100 years old, and enhance their capabilities.
The news comes just one season before the College Football Playoff expands from four to 12 teams. Under the 12-team format, the four highest-seeded conference champions will receive a first-round bye. However, the next four highest-seeded universities will host a playoff game on campus. 15 of the 18 targeted stadiums could theoretically be a host site for a playoff game in the near future.
In 2021, Ole Miss launched its “Champions Now” initiative with plans to spend $215 million on upgrades for the 108-year-old Vaught Hemingway Stadium. The project has since been delayed until an unspecified date due to the “tremendous priority shifts” in college athletics, which could relate to name, image, and likeness (NIL) funding or Lane Kiffin’s new multimillion-dollar contract.
Mississippi State President Dr. Mark Keenum, in 2022, confirmed that there are plans to close the south endzone of Davis Wade Stadium, which has been in use for 109 years. However, it is reported that the renovations will not be coming to fruition in the near future. The last major expansion to the football stadium in Starkville occurred in August 2014 when the north endzone was enclosed.
With federal funding potentially available to the universities for stadium repairs, it is possible that technological and infrastructure upgrades could take place at the two Mississippi stadiums sooner rather than later.
The stadiums and their affiliated universities include:
- Beaver Stadium (Penn State)
- Camp Randall Stadium (Wisconsin)
- Cotton Bowl (Dallas, Texas)
- Davis Wade Stadium (Mississippi State)
- Franklin Field (Pennsylvania)
- Husky Stadium (Washington)
- Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn)
- Los Angeles Coliseum (USC)
- Memorial Stadium (California)
- Memorial Stadium (Illinois)
- Memorial Stadium (South Carolina)
- Nippert Stadium (Cincinnati)
- Rose Bowl (UCLA)
- Spartan Stadium (San Jose State)
- Tiger Stadium (LSU)
- Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (Ole Miss)
- Wallace Wade Stadium (Duke)
- Yale Bowl (Yale)