Ground broken on future home of MU football

On Friday Nov. 10 as a part of the homecoming 2011 experience, Mercer University hosted a groundbreaking for the new stadium being built on behalf of Mercer Football and LaCrosse. The ceremony brought numerous dignitaries together under one white plastic roof to celebrate this milestone in Mercer history.
A large white tent was set up on the intramural field adjacent to the construction site to hold the several hundred attendees, which included current and former student athletes, staff, trustees, Mercerians and Maconites alike.
The event featured Mercer cheerleaders accompanied by everyone’s favorite bear, Toby. The event was marked by the ceremonial turning of the earth with golden-plated shovels. It was a proud moment in Mercer history.
“Our football program has been hibernating for 71 years,” Mercer president Bill Underwood declared at the ceremony.
Students were invited to embrace their collegiate heritage as Mercer unveiled color renderings of the finished structure. The renderings of the new facility include a field house, a press box , a spectator section that will seat 6,000 fans and plazas on either side of the playing space.
In a football press conference held Saturday November 11, head coach Bobby Lamb said that several students suggested that the stadium was too close to the Hilton Garden Inn. He replied with a chuckle that the building they were referring to was the new field house for the football program.
The rendering of the field house does evoke a distinct feeling of grandeur. The structure will include coaches’ offices for both sports, football and lacrosse, as well as a student lounge, locker rooms, a sports medicine facility, training rooms and conference rooms for the teams. The new field house will be named for chairman of Mercer’s trustees Homer Drake and his wife, Ruth.
Mercer Athletics is readopting football for the first time since 1941. The  plan is to have the stadium built by Fall 2012 so that Bears may begin practice. The program will officially resume Fall of 2013. It will resume on the FCS level in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League.