2013 Football Guide
HISTORY & RECORDS
Plaster Sports Complex
The Missouri State Bears play in one of the top FCS facilities in the country, a stadium which is 72 years old in 2013, but which has undergone numerous renovations and improvements to make it both impressive in stature and functional in its use. Recent additions have included a brand new Musco lighting system, which was installed in August 2010, and the Bancorp South video scoreboard, which was added over the summer of 2008. The multi-million dollar scoreboard system features a high-quality video system, enhanced graphics package and live scoring and timing capabilities. The Football ProStar LED Video Display has a 4.4 trillion color-capable display; 23mm pixel spacing and 153,600 total red/green/blue LED’s. The top of the scoreboard is more than three stories from the surface and extends 40 feet in width. The stadium also got a facelift in the summer of 2006 with the installation of a new FieldTurf artificial playing surface on the football field. The 400-meter running track was resurfaced most recently in 2000. A four-phase expansion of the facility between 1987 and 1991 was further enhanced in August of 1991, when it received a seven-figure gift from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, with the expanded facility now known as the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex. The late Mr. Plaster was chairman of the board of Evergreen Investments LLC, of Lebanon, Mo. The Plaster Foundation has made numerous gifts to support higher education, including major gifts to Crowder College, College of the Ozarks and Southwest Baptist University. When the Bears inaugurated the new facility Sept. 14, 1991, it completed a four-stage renovation
in which the stadium received its first artificial turf in 1987, a new running track in 1988, and additional seating in 1990. The home of Missouri State football for more than a half century, Plaster Field enjoys a picturesque, landscaped location at the heart of the campus. The 50th birthday revitalization of the stadium in 1991 made it a focal point of campus activity at Missouri State well into the future. The summer of 1991 saw a major construction project rise 120 feet above Kings Avenue behind the existing stadium. When the addition was finished, it nearly doubled the seating capacity, giving MSU 16,300 seats in a modern, functional home to many activities in addition to providing an impressive home for Missouri State Bears football. The completion of the renovation coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first use of the original stadium at the corner of Kings and Grand for Bears football. MSU defeated Southeastern Oklahoma 46-0 Sept. 19, 1941, in the first game in the facility. For football, Plaster now has nearly 8,500 seats in the upper deck, 24 skyboxes of 10 seats each and a 40-seat University box located at what was the back of the original stadium, and a press box at the top of the deck. The ground level includes 12 racquetball and handball courts as well as recreational locker rooms and offices. On the second level, behind the skyboxes, one end of the facility includes large locker room space for MSU programs. The other end contains the Plaster Strength Center, a 7,200-square foot intercollegiate athletics weight room. An elevator at the west entrance connects all three levels with the stadium press box level.
The final renovation followed three preliminary additions. The first artificial surface was added in 1987, and was replaced in 2000 and 2006. The turf was followed in 1988 by an eight-lane, 400-meter all-weather running track, paid for from student fee money at a cost of $272,000. The east bleachers were moved back and the north and south walls of the stadium were relocated to accommodate the enlarged track. The north end was reworked, and the resulting area can accommodate championship football, track and field, soccer, field hockey and marching band events. In 1990, an additional 2,000 seats were installed on the east side of the stadium, along with additional concession stands, restrooms, ticket booths, a new student entrance. Plaster Sports Complex received many enhancements in the 1970s and 1980s, including additions and improvements to seating, a press box, and concession and restroom facilities. A lighting system and scoreboard and electronic message center were also added during this era. Built originally for $60,000 as a WPA project, the Plaster Sports Complex is home to Missouri State’s football, field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and track and field teams. Missouri State also hosts numerous interscholastic and club track, marching band, handball, racquetball, soccer, football, and field hockey events as well as MSU and Greenwood Lab School classes and practices for a variety of sports teams. The facility was known as SMS Stadium from the time it opened in 1941 until 1970, and was named Briggs Stadium from 1970 until it was renamed Plaster Field in 1991.