Summer vacation is over, kids are now back in school and the 2016 Football season is upon us. However, a few Southwestern Athletic Conference schools have finally dug into their pockets and made much needed improvements on their athletic facilities. Prairie View A&M have been talking about a new stadium for the past 3 years or so. The Panther have played in the old Blackshear Field Stadium for many years. However, as the college landscape began to change with FBS schools improving their venues, HBCU schools were tongued tied as well as cash strapped to pull off any huge improvements. However, with cash donations from prominent alumni as well as help from state funds as well as government funds, Prairie View’s stadium came to a vision. The Panther’s played their 2015 home slate at nearby Waller High School while construction crews broke ground and started demolishing old Blackshear. Construction engineers gave way to blue prints of a upscale new stadium that seats over 10,000 with the possibility of expanding in the near future. Panther alumni visioned their team playing in a spanking brand new stadium and now on September 4, the annual LABOR DAY CLASSIC comes to the Hill as Texas Southern invades Panther Stadium. With new field turf and a new scoreboard plus a grande ole locker rooms, showers and team meeting rooms, the Panthers will have a new den to be pleased with.
Down in Baton Rouge, Southern University has added a new addiction to A.W. Mumford Stadium. The True Blue Foundation along with local sponsors have donated the funds for Southern to install new field turf in the stadium. Before then, the playing surface at Mumford has been horrible. Injuries along with poor drainage forced the Jaguars to come up with a plan not only to prevent injuries but a plan that would be a long term solution as far as saving money on grass maintenance. The new turf really brings out the stadium appeal as well as gives Southern University football a national brand appeal.
Over in Lorman, Mississippi, Alcorn State starts new with former Brave QB Fred McNair taking over as head coach. Former coach Hopson, left to take over at Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The Alcorn State Alumni group help raise money for the school to purchase a nice huge new scoreboard with video screen to make Spinks-Casem Stadium more fan friendly. Not only will the score board display the score but it will display sponsorship as well as replays, as well as live coverage during the game. It is said to be the largest scoreboard in the state of Mississippi. That’s a plus for the Brave Nation as well as future Braves also.
As we approach the 2016 football season , one thing for sure is a few SWAC teams are keeping up with the Jones as it relates to much needed athletic improvements…………..stay tuned….