The Columbus State baseball team may be playing at the same location, but for fans attending the games, it will seem brand new.
Burger King Stadium at Ragsdale Field will host its first game Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. as the Cougars (2-1) face Albany State.
Only the frame of the stadium, which was opened in 1970 and updated in 1990, remains.
Done mostly with a large donation from the Schuster family, which operates more than 60 Burger Kings in the Southeast, the renovations include 698 chair-back seats, a new roof that covers most of those seats and a floating backstop, which eliminates the poles that obstruct the view from the stands. It also includes a upgraded scoreboard with an area that can show photos and videos.
To provide extra comfort to the fans, a row of seats were eliminated, according to CSU baseball coach Greg Appleton. That will provide 34 inches of space between each row of seats.
"We are so very fortunate to enjoy the tremendous relationship and support of Todd Schuster and Schuster Enterprises," CSU athletic director Todd Reeser said a news release when work began.
"The new Burger King Stadium will be one of the finest NCAA Division II facilities in the country."
The $1.2 million renovation was originally scheduled to be ready for the 2015 season, but it had to be delayed for a year due to construction issues.
"Well, it's definitely exciting," CSU coach Greg Appleton said in a news release. "It's been exciting to see it go up, and I know when we open up here it's going to be a lot of fun.
"The stadium looks impressive. We are very grateful for the Schuster family and all their support and we hope to bring a very exciting season to the Columbus community."
The field was built in 1970 with stadium seating, a press box and lighting added in 1990. That was also done with a donation from the Schuster family. In 1996, a clubhouse, a concession stand and restrooms were added.
Kevin Price, 706-320-4403, Follow Kevin on Twitter@lesports