Concessions

New concession stand, scoreboard added at Mules Stadium
Posted on 08/22/2022
A new concession stand, designed by Dille and Pollard Architecture.

Visitor concessions are being added to Mules Stadium with new restrooms and storage, expanded seating of the south grandstand, plus a scoreboard replacement, all in an effort to improve the fan experience during sporting events at Poplar Bluff High School.

Some corners were cut during the opening of the football stadium in 2016 in order to save money, according to school leaders, but as the district began receiving more opportunities to host meets, the outstanding needs became apparent.

“We’ve done a good job in making this our new home, but I’m glad to see the upgrade, fixing some of the issues to make it a better experience for everyone,” said Kent Keith, R-I athletic director. “It was a cost savings [measure] but it became pretty evident once we opened it that there were some identifiable issues we need to fix here and address at some point.”

During the June meeting, the Board of Education approved C.E. Norton Construction as the contractor over the project with R-I Superintendent Dr. Scott Dill simply stating that professional engineer Ed Norton is “the right guy for the job.” While the district is taking on the cost of the visitor side improvement at a little over $600,000, with in-kind labor provided by the Maintenance Department, the Mules Booster Club agreed to purchase and install the 42x20 foot scoreboard with a sound system at an estimated $241,000.

“We’re so blessed to have a Booster Club that is so aggressive in their support of our programs within the district,” Dill said. “It provides a steady revenue stream for the Booster Club to sell advertising and capture that revenue stream, that then provides an opportunity for future projects.

“That’s one of the great things about our booster organizations is all of the funds they raise comes directly back to kids,” he continued.

The original scoreboard was refurbished and began overheating and having other weather-related problems evidently with the way it was sealed, Keith explained. The new sign, by Daktronics, is the “best one out,” he said, noting that the same product is used at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

“We’ll generate money to help pay for it, and anything over will in turn help the programs,” commented Brian Taylor, Booster Club president. “We try to be there for those programs when they need something that their budgets can’t afford. We know budgets are tight, and we try to help everybody fill their needs.”

Around 250 seats will be added to the visitor side bleachers, which includes the Sho-Me Band and student section, so spectators no longer will have to stand along the fence during well-attended games. The new concessions will alleviate the bottleneck that is often created by the locker rooms, according to education officials. The roll-up door will allow for the Track & Field pole vault landing system to be stored indoors for the winter season.

“The combination of these various projects at the stadium will result in an enhanced experience for our patrons and guests as they utilize these facilities,” Dill said. Keith added: “I already was happy with it as a venue, but we do want to be a good host to people coming to Poplar Bluff."

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Cutline: A new concession stand, designed by Dille and Pollard Architecture, will be located at the Southeast end of Mules Stadium.

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