East Lansing — On the field, Michigan State announced its presence as a player on the national scene last season with 13 wins, including the Rose Bowl.
Monday, school officials unveiled their latest step in joining those ranks permanently with the dedication of the North End Zone project at Spartan Stadium, highlighted by a state-of-the-art locker room.
“This is an amazing building,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “You can’t understand how important this is to success here. You have to be able to compete apples to apples and what we’ve done here goes beyond that.”
The $24.5 million project was completed in time for the opener Friday against Jacksonville State, complete with a new recruiting area to be used for all university athletic programs, a visiting locker room, new media center and locker rooms for the officials.
Some of the more notable donors included Magic Johnson and basketball coach Tom Izzo, as well as Dantonio and Mark Hollis. The locker room was completed with a $1.5 million donation from Pro Bowler Flozell Adams
“The neat thing is, Kurtis Drummond called them all up in the middle of the locker room and they sang the fight song,” said Ianni, who led the renovation project. “And to me it was a privilege, that was the first time the Michigan State football team will have sung the fight song in that locker room. So I mean, it was cool. And they really liked it.”
And, there was no denying Michigan State’s recent success helped raise the necessary funds.
“If you deliver there, plus what Mark’s doing with the program, what Tom’s been doing with the program, there’s a really good feeling about where we’re at,” Ianni said. “I think it helps. No question it helps.”
Jacksonville State at Michigan State
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
Records: Season opener
Series: First meeting
Did you know? Michigan State has won eight of its last 10 season-openers, including six of seven under Mark Dantonio.