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In our last update, the athletic calendar had officially changed to 2014-15, and this week the action finally kicks off! Coach Aaron Gordon’s women’s soccer team is our first game of the year at Mississippi State, hosting Iowa State on Friday at 7. I hope you’ll come out – as always, admission is free and a fun event for families.

Additionally, that game will serve as our first official broadcast on the SEC Network, so if you can’t make it to town, just pull up SEC Network+ online and you’ll be able to watch your Bulldogs from anywhere. The debut of the SEC Network is big for MSU athletics and this is the start of a much newer and better era when it comes to keeping track of Bulldog athletics and the visibility of our university.

I’m actually writing this en route to Charlotte for the SEC Athletic Directors’ meeting at SEC Network headquarters where we will get our first look at the new studio in person.

I hope you’ve enjoyed what the SEC Network has to offer so far. It’s only getting better.

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With 10 days left until kickoff, ticket holders in our new north end zone will be pleased to know their seats and amenities will be ready to go for the season-opener. The entire expansion is nearly finished, with just a few odds and ends left to tie together as we move our own staff and equipment in.

I’m incredibly proud of what you have helped Davis Wade Stadium become and if you haven’t seen pictures, you’ll hardly recognize the place. I can’t wait for you all to see the finished product.

Our first event in the new end zone will actually take place Friday night when we host our annual Champions Dinner for Bulldog Club members who have pledged $25,000 or more for this year and those who have made a major gift to the stadium expansion.

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By the time some of you read this, we ought to be a good way through the available 11,000 student tickets, which went on sale this morning in our new online format. We sold several thousand earlier this week with the priority given to Hail State Rewards members and we expect to once again sell out of our student allotment.

This year, for the first time in quite a while, our students will be together, centralized in the lower bowl of the north end zone. Not only will the expansion help keep sound in the stadium, it ought to be the source of a good deal of sound, too.

Students, as your email specified, we are offering guest tickets this year when available, as well as the ability to transfer your ticket to another student if so desired.

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As of yesterday, we had surpassed 46,000 season tickets sold, which continues to be a record with each ticket sold (our previous record was a little over 43,000 in 2012). As it stands now, we have a little over 1,000 tickets available for the opener against Southern Miss on August 30. For those who haven’t yet secured a ticket, I’d encourage you to visit www.HailState.com/tickets and join the celebration of expanded DWS and the 100th year of Scott Field. It ought to be a fun night.

Of course, for those who absolutely can’t make it, the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

Beyond the season opener, we do have a select amount of tickets still available in the mini-plan where you can pick three of five home games including USM, UAB, Kentucky, UT Martin and Vanderbilt.

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A reminder to those making weekend plans that, in addition to soccer hosting Cincinnati at 11:30 a.m., Davis Wade will be host to the annual Fan Day on Sunday afternoon. Gates will open at 4:30 and Coach Mullen and the team will arrive shortly after for autographs and pictures. A north end zone open house, which includes the Gridiron Club and new concourse, will take place, as well, so make sure to join us.

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Happy first week of classes to all the students on campus and don’t forget: we wear maroon on Fridays!

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We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved.  There are three things you can do to help the athletic department at Mississippi State reach its desired goals –

1.  Buy Season Tickets

2.  Financially Support the Bulldog Club

3.  Get Others To Do The Same

Thanks for taking the time to read this Update.   

Hail State!

Scott Stricklin