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Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium expansion to begin in December 2009

Tue, Sep 15, 2009

Featured, Football, Greenville, Pirate Club

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ECU has given the go ahead for a 7,000 east endzone expansion beginning this upcoming December.  The Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium expansion has been much talked about and much anticipated over the past year. Student Pirate Club members and the ECU Marching Pirates will be moved from their current location to the 7,000 seat expansion. This would open up 3,500-4,000 seats between the 35 yard lines for Pirate Club members.

Adding this to Dowdy-Ficklen will increase the stadium capacity to 50,000 and help increase our chances of hosting bigger non-conference games as well as moving into the Big East.  This section will encompass the entire SPC as well as the ECU Marching Pirates. Above the 7,000 seats will sit a state-of-the-art HD scoreboard.  The scoreboard screen will be the size of the entire scoreboard that currently sits in the east end zone.  This will provide the fans with greater views of instant replays and other information portrayed on the board. To keep the SPC informed of game info. (downs, yardage, clock, timeouts, ect.) there will be a smaller screen that will be about 30 feet long and 3-5 feet high and it will run along the front of the Murphy Center.

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Increasing Dowdy-Ficklen’s capacity to 50,000 will also have an economic impact on Greenville and surrounding areas.  There will be an increase in hotel capacity on football weekends as well as an increase in the amount of sales at local eatery’s.  ECU has already taken proactive measures to make the transition of 7,000 more people coming into the stadium by providing round trip shuttle service to and from the stadium on game days.  The shuttle service was first implemented on September 5 when we faced App. St. The serice provided transportation to 1,500 people traveling to and from the Brody School of Medicine.  Although many of you may not like riding a bus to and from games, I believe it is a much welcomed growing pain.  Our fans have been fortunate to be able to park within a minutes walk of DF stadium.  As our athletic facilites continue to expand, I am sure we will see further decrease in parking around DF-Stadium

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All pictures were taken from the East Carolina Pirates Facebook page

We have started posting updates on newer posts so if you haven’t been to the 200YearsTooLate.com main page, you can click on the dates below to check out our newer blog post with some pictures of the construction updates taken from various sources around the Interwebs.

12/22/2009

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62 Comments For This Post

  1. J Mohn Says:

    Sweet!

  2. J Mohn Says:

    Capt,

    Why hasn’t anyone else reported on this? You must have the inside scoop.

  3. Capt. Obvious Says:

    There have been numerous reports about some of the details. Jimmy Bass has spoken about this at past Football Kickoff parties and there has been mention of the plans by other ECu staff on Pirate Radio and on Talk of the Town. Very excited to see this get under way. They will break ground on December 6, which is the day after we will hopefully be hosting the Conference USA Championship.

  4. GhostLikeSwayze Says:

    I am very excited about the HD scoreboard because that means that we are going to have to invest in high def cameras which will lead to ECU football in HD for all home games…I hope…

  5. Space Wrangler Says:

    quite the display of deft logic there Ghost!

  6. Bumgeezy Says:

    wow, this puts boners in my pants!

  7. Space Wrangler Says:

    wow, this puts boners in *recruits* pants!

  8. bazil expedition Says:

    what doesnt’ put boners in your pants bumgeezy?

  9. Lauren Says:

    I’m a student and a member of the SPC at ECU and it kind of bothers me that we won’t get to take advantage of the new HD scoreboard as it will be behind us at all times and we’ll be in an end zone when now we have the priveledge to sit from the 50 yard line down to the East Endzone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic about this project, just a little let down that the money I spend every year to be in the club and to go to ECU will be used for others enjoyment. Oh well…ARGHHHH!!!!

  10. ESEAU Says:

    Oh quit your complaining Lauren, I wish I could have those end zone seats while I was in school. So when your all grown up and hopefully a yearly contributor to the Pirate Club you will one day be able to enjoy that HD score board from the regular seats…don’t rush it, enjoy it!

  11. Will Says:

    Don’t worry Lauren, they’ll probably put another screen above the Privateer’s deck on the other side of the field in the coming years.

  12. ghostlikeswayze Says:

    Lauren – As good as HD is, it is never as good as the live action game. If there is a questionable call, you will actually have the best view in the house when you turn around to look at the replay in HD. I am actually envious of you being able to sit there.

  13. Lauren Says:

    Oh the screen isn’t the big deal! The position is! But like I said, I’m not complaining I just wish we weren’t being moved. I’m ecstatic about the new addition and the growing athletic department here.

  14. ghostlikeswayze Says:

    Thanks for making your voice heard on 200YTL. Hopefully, you will continue to comment on posts in the future because we are trying to create a fun community for Pirate fans to discuss these kind of issues. I am planning on installing a forum but just haven’t found the time or money to do it yet. I hope to have it up by the end of the month but my weekends have been dedicated to the Pirates so far this season.

    I think that the end zone seating will be great for the student section. Sure, it is a different kind of view but the power of the student section in the end zone will have such a tremendous effect on the atmosphere of the entire stadium and the games. Plus, you get to mess with the opponent’s place kicker. That will be fun.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    biahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  16. George Says:

    Good information on the expansion. One recommendation I would make is to replace the comment about moving to the Big East with moving to a BCS conference. With that comment I would think that it is inviting fans of Big East schools that may not be in favor of ECU becoming a member to make negative comments. But, some are going to make negative comments anyway I guess like the gutter talking individual that posted just above with his profanity laced comments who didn’t have the guts to name himself anything but Anonymous. Nice individual!

  17. DrPurple Says:

    Nice news!

    Lauren, I understand your pain, but the reality is, without the Pirate Club and their donations this stadium expansion wouldn’t be possible. Your tuition is not going towards this. It is a great that you and others in the Student Pirate Club support the team though, it is a good foundation to build on and one day when you’re in a position to join the Pirate Club as an alumni you’ll appreciate all that it does as well.

    I do think they should consider backed seating in the new endzone as well as a better audio system to go along with that score board.

    Last, someone should delete the troll post two above mine.

  18. Kyle W Says:

    what is the next expansion after this? An identical upper deck on the other side? or box seats? or both? thanks–K

  19. pirates1 Says:

    From what I have heard, the next addition will be suites and football/administrative offices on the South side of the stadium. I believe I speak for everyone when I say I hope we hurry up and get rid of that double wide of a press box that is currently there.

  20. purpleHAZE09 Says:

    Yes, I agree. Get rid of the ‘Trailer in the Sky.’ When all is said and done, I think Dowdy Ficklen will probably end up looking a lot like Carter Finley stadium in Raleigh. The endzone expansion, the press box, suites, and Murphy Center rennovations were all intended to give NC State football a giant leap forward with its facilities, and it has certainly paid off for them. The quality of their facilities is the primary reason why they consistently out-recruit ECU.

    The Dowdy Ficklen upgrade is a long-overdue project by which ECU will hope to at least match NC State’s football facilities and thereby have better grounds for challenging the Wolfpack (among others) in recruiting. Obviously, it’s not all about competing with NC State, but I think it is a major factor. Of course, the expansion also doesn’t hurt ECU’s case for getting into a BCS conference.

    My only concern is whether or not Pirate fans will be able to fill that stadium. As it is, ECU is barely selling out home games against C-USA opponents. And that’s with only 43,000 capacity (approx). Perhaps this is partly why they’re putting students in new end zone sections. Maybe ECU athletics feels that it’s more likely students will fill these seats, rather than alumni or general public buying single-game or season tickets in those sections. Either way, I like the idea of putting students in the endzone, because it actually makes the crowd a real factor. We like to claim that ECU is an exceptionally difficult place to play, but honestly, it’s not. Dowdy Ficklen doesn’t really get loud at all. If you don’t believe me, go check out a football game at Virginia Tech. Big difference! With the new setup, I think ECU will be a tougher place for visiting teams to play.

    As an ECU alummnus, I am excited about this expansion. GO PIRATES!

  21. John Chaney Says:

    We are by far the loudest stadium in the Carolinas.

    The conference games have improved to sell out status over the past two years. I can actually sell a couple of my extra tickets on Ebay and make a profit.

    We have had better recruiting than NC state, but not UNC. This expansion will not bring in recruits, but wins will. Skip Holtz is not a good recruiter but he is a great coach. He can get sub-par tallent and turn them into GOLD.

  22. purpleHAZE09 Says:

    Several untrue statements there. Look, I am a loyal Pirate fan just like you, but let’s get real. You can say all day long our recruiting is better than NC State, but that’s just not true. Not even close. Check out ESPN’s Top 150 for this year. NC State has at least one or two commitments from that list. ECU has none. UNC is kickin’ our butt recruiting-wise as well. It’s been that way for years. I concede that the main problem with our recruiting is not facilities, but our conference. ACC schools will always beat out C-USA schools. If I am a top prospect receiving offers from NC State and UNC, I have no incentive to choose ECU.

    Dowdy Ficklen is the loudest stadium in the Carolinas? You can’t be serious. I wish that were the case, but sadly it’s not. When the Wolfpack are winning, those fair-weather NC State fans make that place much louder than little ol’ Dowdy Ficklen. By the way, did you happen to see last week’s game against Rice? There were plenty of empty seats in Dowdy Ficklen. And that was Homecoming! So much for that sellout status.

    You’re right that facilities alone will not bring recruits, but it certainly won’t hurt! I agree with you that we need to win a lot of games and make a bee line out of C-USA. Again, I love the Pirates and I want to think the best about our football program and see them succeed. I can talk smack with the best of them. But it’s time for Pirate Nation to be honest and face facts?

    Is our program consistently on the level of NC State and UNC? No, not yet. Sure, we manage to beat them here and there, but they own us most years. Why? Because our facilities and our recruiting are not up to par. But notice that I said “Not yet.” I think we will be a consistent force to be reckoned with in the state of NC and the country as a whole, but it will take time and we’re just not there yet. But we will be one day. For now, we need to focus on the top priorities: upgrade facilities, win games, and get to a BCS conference.

    That being said, I love the Pirates and I hope all these things come true. Sorry for the long post. GO PIRATES!

  23. Anonymous Says:

    so are the students going to be purple or gold?

  24. ghostlikeswayze Says:

    Good question. I have absolutely no clue how that will work. I am guessing that they will probably stick with Purple but that is just a guess.

  25. anonymous Says:

    looks great

  26. Karen Says:

    I sure hope there will be an increase/improvement in restroom facilities. Those lines are LONG for us ladies :(

  27. ghostlikeswayze Says:

    I don’t know how much this expansion will decrease the lines of the restrooms but I hope they do. I always feel bad for the ladies at the end of the line!

  28. Anonymous Says:

    On the visitor side they need to run a electronic board along the upper and lower deck any talk about this?

  29. gary Says:

    will this prompt the powers that be to provide additional parking for fans…the parking is brutal

  30. Anonymous Says:

    this doenst put boners in recruits pants penn states 107 thousand person stadium does hell yeah Go PENN STATE

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Penn State aka dumbass yankee go back up north and die

  32. ecuisnumber1 Says:

    Initially, ECU planned on replacing the press box with some suites, however, with the economic conditions we are in at this moment, the administration decided to hold off on that. As far as the SPC being moved to the end zone, the seats may not be the best in the stadium, but vacating the seats they are currently sitting in, will facilitate more people joining the Pirate Club as they will have the opportunity to get better seats. It is very similar to when the Dean Dome was built at UNC and the students voted to not pay for it. Instead, the alumni paid for it, so the alumni get the better seats. You are only a student for a few years, but you are an alum for for the rest of your life afterward. Plus, the students in the end zone should really bring some noise when the opponent is trying to score on that end of the field. All in all, I am pretty excited about this expansion.

    ARRGGHH!!

  33. ken Says:

    The size of the field is the same at Michigan as it is at ecu. Remember this a lot of great atheletic players come from the enc just look at the rb at Tennessee Lee Becton from ernul near Vanceboro and Anthony Wright these guys may have may have went to ecu if they were in a BCS confrence. Its a must to expand the stadium this is a great area to recruit from being so close to tidewater VA

  34. Anonymous Says:

    this new expansion is going to be sweet and not to hate on ecu but dowdy ficklen stadium is not the loudest stadium in the carolinas i mean look at state and carolina two bcs schools with 60000 person stadiums they get it a lot louder then dowdy but i do think its a hard place to play. dowdy ficklen stadium is definitely the loudest in the c-usa this expansion definitely will help that too and the future expansions. hopefully east carolina can continue on as a powerhouse in the c-usa and maybe have the chance in the future to move to the big east go pirates and kick arkansas ass

  35. Anonymous Says:

    the stadium is going to be sweet with the new stands and scoreboards cant wait to see a game there once the new section is done go pirates and lets win the liberty bowl

  36. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone know when the construction of the new stadium will go underway? I was told that ground-breaking would start dec. 6, but I haven’t seen/heard any new news since..

  37. PirateHeist Says:

    I’ll agree carter finley probably has us beat on loudness (when they aren’t going 6-7, 5-7 etc.), but UNC? Come on.. for as many people as that place houses it is relatively calm. Come into Dowdy Ficklen and when we hit you with an INT or FF at the 1 yard line (like we did against SoMiss) and BOOM – you’ll here E-C-U. Pirate fans are just LOUD, period. At the ECU/NC state bball game last year – the pirates took over the upper deck and were louder than the state fans (granted there were hardly any of them there).

  38. pirates1 Says:

    Update: was told the current scoreboard is coming down this Wednesday, Dec. 16. It should be awesome to watch.

  39. mason Says:

    ..got a website up to follow the progress of the stadium expansion.!

    will try to keep it updated daily. check it: http://www.mwmaster.com/dowdystadium

    please feel free to take pics of your own and contribute..

  40. mason Says:

    btw.. i thought of linking to this site/story for those who want to read more about it.

    sound do-able?

  41. jarrett Says:

    As for a comment about HD cameras being used; they would need to use them in the stadium to broadcast HD on the big screen. However, it is an in house system. Games are broadcast in HD by ESPN (CBS college sports also) when it is on one of their channels because they bring in their own HD equipment (cameras, video boards, satellite uplinks, ect.). But when a game is on WITN or MASN, they use a cut rate cheaper third party broadcast co. to do the video work that uses standard def. equipment.

  42. ghostlikeswayze Says:

    Mason – No problem about the link! Thanks!

    Jarrett – I agree. I am hoping that WITN will be able to get on track and switch to HD is the next year. They will be way behind the times if they wait 2+ years. MASN already has HD but primarily use it (spend the money) for baseball (Nat’s & O’s). It is only a matter of time before the cut rate third parties are phased out and everything is HD.

  43. Anonymous Says:

    that looks awsom ejust wondering the first pic. is that the new part?

  44. Anonymous Says:

    that looks awsome just wondering the first pic. is that the new part?

  45. ghostlikeswayze Says:

    Anon – the 1st picture is just the plans…check out the link at the very bottom of the post to check out updates or visit the main page on 200YTL for updated posting with more info and pics on whats happening to the glorious DFS…

  46. mason Says:

    Got you linked down at the bottom now… to this post/article.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    progress is under way cant wait to see the the final product looks like cant wait enough i went out and bough a stadium software design software and created my own dowdy ficklen stadium it looks sick go pirates beat those razorbacks

  48. ghostlikeswayze Says:

    Thanks Mason.

    Anon – We would love to see your own Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium that you created. Can you send it to me on an e-mail? 200yearstoolate@gmail.com

  49. Anonymous Says:

    unc can suck a big hariy penis

  50. Anonymous Says:

    At least some teams out there are expanding and doing big things this should enter them into the Big East its a great campus and a great stadium and fan base.

  51. Anonymous Says:

    as a wvu alumni I hope this will bring ECU to the big east. You deserve it now recruit some basketball players

  52. Brodyspub Says:

    Will someone please patrol this site?

  53. SPC Member Says:

    Discussion in a

    Person A: just as a small correction, and not to get to techinical the athletics fee is nearly $500, then you pay $30 for the pirate club passes. Also, not all 27000 students pay the athletics fee, its about 21000 based on FTE (full time equivalencies). Thats so distance ed students and people not utilizing the faciilities are not charged.

    But, I do agree that students should be sat better than the endzone. As the SGA VP I will be sure to let athletics know how you feel!

    Person B: so what your saying is that 21,000 students pay roughly $500 then of those 21,000, another 7,755 students pay an additional $30 to be apart of SPC. If that so then 21,000x$500=$10,500,000 + (7,755x$30=$232,650)=$10,732,650 I think we’ve earned the seats we have

    there’s no way that the SPC and the band will fit in the new section when the SPC continues to grow every year, and since our entrance utilizes the Jumbotron Scoreboard which will be behind the people it’s designed to pump up before the game it’s pretty stupid to put it behind us, we as students provide the players on the field, and are the reason the school exists, no students = no school athletes = no athletic team, besides most of the “major” donors don’t even sit in the stadium they hangout at the Murphy Center in the West End Zone our in the luxury area on the North Side of the Stadium beneath the Upper Deck. Plus our seats are behind the opposing teams bench, we can harass them when they’re on and off the field. Besides the only reason we buy SPC memberships is because of where we sit, as students we get a free home game ticket, to every home game, there’s no incentive to pay an extra $30 for a t-shirt and crappy seats.

  54. Anonymous Says:

    No disrespect but the SPC moneyy is chunk change compared to the Pirate club. As a donor I give $15,000 (sabre) a year and the students should get moved. The new seats will attract alumni to start giving since they can get those seats. This is how schools build for the future and we were students so we have paid our dues. Look at other schools such as UNC they have done the same and it works. Rough out for a few years then you can give like us and get your seats back. Go pirates P.S. half of the students tailgate through the game anyway.

  55. brodyspub1994 Says:

    I am sure that the $500 athletic fee goes toward more than just football tickets. This money is most likely designated for all the various facilities across campus stretching out to the fields on 264 east. As a PC member and graduate – I have not been told that I have access to these facilities.

  56. spc and pc member Says:

    I can definately see both views here. The truth is that I don’t believe that they should move all the students to the endzone. First thing I don’t believe that there will be enough room to move all of them in the endzone anyways. Secondly don’t see why they can’t share the side and endzone. The last thing you want to do is alienate the future alumni. Give them a choise and make them pay more then the endzone seats. Let’s say the normal $30 for the endzone and maybe $100 for 10-40 yardline. Im only 26 but I have been going to games for the last 23 years (dad and brother both graduated here) and I have earned my seat. I will be seating on the sidelines one way or another. I am sure that there will be a decient compromise. Now for the next topic PARKING. Now there is a real problem.

  57. ecu recruit Says:

    im defff goingg to ecuuu

  58. Shane kennnnnnnna Says:

    Awesome expansion, I love it because it sets the tone for the season and it gives them a one up into the big east so that gives the sellers an extra $ 250-500 so that is a good investment and it makes the whole stadium

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