Columbus State Announces Complete Stadium Renovation; Plans to Rename Complex Burger King Stadium at Ragsdale Field
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State is planning a major overhaul of its 44-year old baseball stadium that dramatically changes the look and feel for fans and players.
The stadium makeover will be accomplished entirely with private donations, including a significant investment from Todd Schuster and the Schuster family, owners of Schuster Enterprises, which operates more than 60 Burger King restaurants in the Southeast. Because of that pledge and the Schusters’ long-standing support of CSU student programs, academics and Cougar athletics, university officials plan to name baseball’s new home Burger King Stadium at Ragsdale Field.
“We’re very proud of our long-standing relationship with Cougar baseball and I’m particularly pleased to be able to continue that tradition,” said Todd Schuster. “We would be very proud to have the franchise’s name on this beautiful stadium.”
The university’s baseball field was built in 1970 as Cougar Field. Stadium seating, a press box and lighting were added in 1990, thanks to a gift from Schuster Enterprises. In 1996, a baseball clubhouse and concession-restroom building were added with a donation from Charles B. Morrow, then the owner of the Columbus Red Stixx baseball organization, a Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The field was named in 2000 in honor of Charles F. Ragsdale, Columbus State’s first baseball coach, who won 476 games during his 15-year tenure.
This next chapter of the baseball complex should start this summer and will include:
- Classic, brick-face look surrounding the stadium
- Roof over the entire seating area to provide shaded seating
- Formal, grand entrance
- 750 chair-back seats
- Plaza area
- New press box
- Ticket booth
- Donor recognition wall
- Upgraded scoreboard
- Picnic terrace decking beyond left field wall for group and corporate hospitality
“I am very excited about the renovation project for our baseball stadium at Columbus State,” said Greg Appleton, current CSU baseball coach. “The generous donation by the Schuster family will make our facility one of the best in nation for Division II programs.”
Columbus State University President Tim Mescon was thrilled in talking about the Schusters’ long-term and important support of the university, which also has a building housing student services that bears the Schuster name.
“We cannot overstate the impact that the Schusters have had on this campus,” Mescon said. “We look forward to being able to name the stadium in recognition of the long-term relationship we have had with Todd Schuster and his family. Columbus State University has benefited greatly from the Schusters’ involvement and will continue to do so for years to come.”
Gifts supporting the baseball stadium renovation will be counted toward the university's comprehensive campaign, which is still in a “silent phase” as priorities are developed, goals are established, and future contributors are identified.
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