Michael Hewes graduated from Southern Miss in 1992 and has been attending games in Hattiesburg for years. Hewes says, "I go to every home football game I can and I go to as many basketball games as I can, but with three young kids, it’s hard to get to all of them, but I get to four or five a year if I can."
The existing Reed Green Coliseum hasn’t had an update in 50 years, and the school, as well as many fans, think it’s about time for a change. Hewes also says, "The old Coliseum is very dated and in today’s recruiting environment, it just doesn’t look good. It needs to be upgraded."
Tuesday in Biloxi, U.S.M. unveiled plans to do a complete renovation of the facility, including a grand entryway, seat-back seating, and a spin around scoreboard, just to name a few of the changes. Bill McGillis, Athletic Director for U.S.M., says, "New concourse, new concessions, new restrooms, new scoreboard, really an entirely new interior. We can totally change the face of the building and extend the lifespan of the Coliseum for another 30 years with this kind of renovation."
The $35-45 million dollar project will not only bring cheering fans to the Coliseum, but a boost to the Mississippi Pine Belt economy. McGillis also says, "We asked them to ensure that it’s a true multi-purpose facility going forward that can host concerts, family shows, graduations, conventions." U.S.M. officials tell News 25 the next step is to figure out where the money will come from.
Hewes closes, "We’re looking forward to the new Coliseum and going to the games as well as the other activities they have out there, hopefully sooner rather than later."