Dix Stadium ready to show off renovations

Upgrades include high-definition replay scoreboard

Faculty and players are excited about the $4 million second-phase renovations to Dix Stadium, and they believe that fans and prospective players will be drawn to its new look.

“They’re really awesome,” Kent State mascot Flash said. “(It) really looks good for a Division I program.”

One of the most prominent changes to the stadium is a new high-definition scoreboard. Football coach Doug Martin said the high-definition scoreboard is one of the first in a college team’s stadium, and it will have the ability to show video replays.

Martin said he thinks the stadium looks brand new and the renovations have put the Flashes over the top.

“It’s helping to take our program to the next level,” said Kevin McKeethan, graduate assistant in sports and recreation management.

McKeethan said he believes the renovations will bring more recruits to the team and more excitement to the crowds in attendance.

Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy said the changes in the stadium took place in phases. Phase I was completed before last football season.

Kennedy said Phase II of the renovations involved more construction than improvement. It included removal of the south endzone bleachers, replacing them with a fa‡ade and platform. Other improvements included a new front entrance on the west side of the stadium, a new circular roadway around the stadium, renovations to the “K” Room and improvements to the parking area.

Michael Bruder, director of design and construction for the Office of the University Architect, placed the entire Dix Stadium renovation project at an estimated cost of $8 million.

Kennedy said he hopes all of these improvements will increase attendance not only to the games themselves, but to other events at the Dix complex as well.

“The video boards will really enhance the opportunity for students to participate like they hadn’t before in terms of promoting student events and activities,” Kennedy said. “We will have the ability to host major concerts there, and we’re really looking forward to having more Kent State students involved on football weekends.”

Kennedy said an average of 3,000 to 5,000 students show up for home football games, although higher-profile games, such as games against Kent State’s rival Akron, bring upwards of 20,000 students in attendance.

“We run game-day shuttles to and from the game,” Kennedy said. “We’ll have pregame tailgating in place, and it’ll be a great party environment at Kent State football games.”

Contact building and grounds reporter David Ranucci at [email protected].