The Spartan serves as the official mascot of Michigan State University: a muscular male Spartan warrior/athlete dressed in stylized Greek costume. However, many current students do not realize that the current “Sparty” standing outside MSU’s Spartan Stadium is not the original.
Due to years of precipitation, extreme cold and vandalism, the original terra cotta statue eventually needed intensive repair. By 2003, university officials estimated that the terra cotta statue would only last five to seven more years before crumbling beyond repair and moreover, it was problematic because the 1989 molds had deteriorated. The MSU community was devastated. Luckily for fans, in 2004 new molds were designed to cast an identical bronze replica that would hopefully withstand future pressures, such as weather and vandalism from opposing Big Ten teams.
The original ceramic statue was relocated to the ground floor of the west entrance of Spartan Stadium in 2005. The original measures 9 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 3,000 pounds.