Who: Members of the MSSU Baseball Advisory Committee, in collaboration with MSSU and the Missouri Southern Foundation, have initiated a fundraising campaign to build a baseball stadium on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.
What: At an estimated cost of $2.5 million, the new facility will include amenities for players and fans alike.
When: The goal is to start play in the new stadium in 2015.
Where: The new stadium will be built to the east of Fred G. Hughes Stadium (football) and adjacent to the MSSU Softball Complex.
Why Now: It is a goal of the MSSU Athletics Department to provide each student-athlete with the best possible collegiate experience. For our baseball program, that means enabling the student-athletes to play games on their campus, in a stadium they can call their own.
After beginning the program on the flood plains of the MSSU campus, the baseball Lions have called Joe Becker Stadium home for many years. This historic site has been a wonderful place to play and it holds many special memories. Playing games at Joe Becker has not been without challenges, however. The distance from campus presents transportation problems for players and students alike. There are no training facilities for injured players. And sharing the field with other programs sometimes means weather-postponed games are played on the opponent’s field instead of in Joplin, putting additional strain on classroom time and budgets as well as lost tax revenue for the city.
The new stadium will demonstrate a commitment to baseball and will honor the Lion tradition. Because we want to share our new stadium, it will also help the community by providing a state-of-the-art facility that can be used by area teams and can help host events such as Premier Baseball, which brings hundreds of players and their families to the area.