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Southeast Mo. State University closes Houck Field’s south grandstand due to safety concerns

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 10:23 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 11:32 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri State University Houck Field will be closing its south grandstand for safety concerns.

According to a letter from Southeast Missouri President Dr. Carlos Vargas and Athletics Director Brady Barke posted online on Monday, September 1, a recent structural assessment revealed the south grandstand has surpassed its original useful life.

Vargas and Barke say after monitoring the conditions of the seating within the stadium it has demonstrated serious deterioration of the concrete bleachers.

They said the safety of their fans is important, which made them come to the conclusion to end the use of the south grandstand and press box area of the stadium.

They also said the decision resulted in modified game day operations and reduced capacity for the fall 2021 season.

Officials say fans who already have tickets for Thursday night’s “War for the Wheel” game against Southern Illinois University will be reassigned to the north side bleachers.

The main gate on the south side of the field will also be closed, which means most fans will have to enter through the north gates behind Kent Library.

The university says shuttle and golf cart services will be available to get guest from the parking areas to the north gates.

Houck Stadium will turn 91 years old in 2021.

It was built in 1930 at a cost of $150,000.

The dedication game was held on October 3, 1930.

For many years, fans have filled that stand to watch football and soccer games.

In 1992 about 400 chairbacks seats were added to a center section on the south side of the stadium.

The press box was later constructed on the south side in 1979.

It was updated before the 2011 season with a new field turf, video scoreboard and new lighting.

The company Hollis + Miller will redesign a new 10,000-seat stadium in a $20-26 million renovation project.

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