The Nixa Eagles football team narrowly defeated Joplin 35-34 in the debut of its new stadium this fall. The revamp nearly doubled home team and visitor capacity.
“At Nixa, and for a lot of schools around here, football is king,” said project architect Kirk Dillon of Dake Wells Architecture. “One of the things they wanted to do was for the community to be proud of it and relate to it, but also for competitors to come in and be intimidated.”
He said the design team achieved that display of school pride though increasing capacity, signage, branding and lighting. Spectators are first greeted by the stadium’s grandstand, which is wrapped in a 35-foot-tall by 215-foot-long vinyl windscreen with digitally printed graphics of student athletes. At the center is a 65-foot elevator bearing the school logo.
“They said they wanted the stadium to be at another level,” said Brandon Dake, co-owner of Dake Wells Architecture. “That tower feature can be seen as you pull into the parking lot.”
Dillon said his favorite aspect of the project was the grading and expanding the space available for fans.
“It’s kind of the underrated part, but we were able to capitalize on some grading challenges to make changes and levels for people to gather,” he said. “It’s completely accessible.”
Dake said the road connecting the north and south parking lots also was changed to a pedestrian walkway and fire lane.
“That little move really transformed this side of the site,” Dillon added. “We were looking for ways to maximize what we had available.”
The design team worked together under a tight timeline, he said, with just the eight months between football seasons to complete the project. The concessions, restrooms and press box also were expanded.
The stadium also is used for soccer, track and field, and band competitions.
A project that is now hitting its stride on the west side of Bolivar includes a retail strip and storage units.