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‘Rock M’ at Faurot Field won’t be touched during MU Athletics’ facility upgrades


Mizzou Athletics said it plans to present a facilities master plan to the University of Missouri Board of Curators next month, according to a news release sent earlier this week.

Many details of the plan won't be announced until later. Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Dave Matter told ABC 17 News in an email that the timeline, cost, goal of the design and future renderings are not available at this time.

However, he did say on the phone that the department is very excited.

"Everything that it encompasses, all the different parts of our athletics department that it touches, its potential to impact so many student ahtletes of the present and the future, it really is transformational," Matter said.

In the release, the University said the upgrades would impact every University of Missouri sports program with the construction of new venues and practice facilities and a "reimagination of the north concourse of Memorial Stadium."

Matter said this is referring to the concourse area that connects the East and West stands.

"While we can't give out specifics of what these things are going to look like, we can say that that is not going to be touched," Matter said. "That Rock 'M' will stay there."

MU football coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a press conference Tuesday that he's looking forward to seeing what the plan entails.

"I trust our leadership and in the vision of what they have, and whenever it's time to reveal it, it'll be like Christmas morning," Drinkwitz said.

The athletic department will present its plan to the Board of Curators on Nov. 16. The release said the athletic department partnered with architecture firm Populous to consult on the facilities plan.

Populous is a Kansas City-based organization that has designed projects for the University in the past. The group's website shows it helped design the current South end zone at Memorial Stadium and Mizzou Arena back in 2004.

Populous has also helped design many professional sports facilities, including the current Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

"There's been a partnership there in the past, and they are known for extensive design experience when it comes to not just athletic facilities, but college athletic facilities," Matter said.

Matter said Populous has not been hired to handle the building any new upgrades. He said that process won't begin until after the Board of Curators approves the plan and each individual project moving forward.

ABC 17 News reached out to Populous on Tuesday.

Matter said the department has been working on this plan for months, and there is still a lot of work to be done. But, he said it's exciting this comes at a time of a 6-1 football team and three home sell-outs.

"It's awesome that there's so much momentum right now behind what Mizzou is doing, what we're doing," Matter said. "That makes this process even more exciting to get to Nov. 16."

Article Topic Follows: University of Missouri

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Morgan Buresh

Morgan is an evening anchor and reporter who came to ABC 17 News in April 2023.


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