Byrd Stadium

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Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium
Byrd Stadium logo
Byrd Stadium Pano
Location 90 Stadium Drive
College Park, Maryland 20742
Coordinates 38°59′25″N 76°56′50″W / 38.99028°N 76.94722°W / 38.99028; -76.94722Coordinates: 38°59′25″N 76°56′50″W / 38.99028°N 76.94722°W / 38.99028; -76.94722
Broke ground January 1949
Opened September 30, 1950
Expanded 1995, 2002, 2008
Owner University System of Maryland
Operator University of Maryland, College Park
Surface FieldTurf (2012-present)
Grass (1950-2012)
Construction cost $1 million
($9.8 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect James R. Edmunds Jr.[2]

HOK Sport (renovations)
General contractor Baltimore Contractors, Inc.[3]
Capacity 34,680 (1950-1975)
45,000 (1976-1994)
48,055 (1995-2001)
51,500 (2002-2008)[4]
54,000 (2009-2011)[5][6]
51,802 (2012-present)[7]
Record attendance 58,973 (1975 vs. Penn State)
Tenants
Maryland Terrapins (NCAA) (1950–present)
Baltimore Stars (USFL) (1985)
Presidential Cup Bowl (NCAA) (1950)

Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium (usually simply "Byrd Stadium"), is an outdoor athletic stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. It is the home of the Maryland Terrapins football and lacrosse teams, which compete in the Big Ten Conference. The facility is named after Harry "Curley" Byrd, a multi-sport athlete, football coach, and university president in the first half of the 20th century. In August 2006, naming rights were sold to Chevy Chase Bank, which was subsequently acquired by Capital One.

History[edit]

Byrd Stadium empty
Byrd Stadium on game day

Byrd Stadium, constructed at a cost of $1 million, opened September 30, 1950 in order to replace an older, much smaller stadium of the same name. For four decades, Byrd Stadium consisted of a horseshoe-shaped bowl with capacity of 34,680. In 1991, the five-story Tyser Tower, featuring luxury suites and an expanded press area, was completed on the south side of the stadium, as well as the Gossett Football Team House adjacent to the east endzone. In 1995, the stadium's capacity was raised to 48,055 through the addition of an upper deck on the north side of the stadium. In November 2001, as the football team once again became an ACC-title contender, temporary bleachers were brought in for an additional 3,000 seats. Those bleachers remain to this day. In 2002, a full-color video scoreboard was added in the east endzone and an expansion of the Gossett Football Team House was begun. The athletic department hoped to parlay the success of the Ralph Friedgen era into a stadium expansion that would have increased capacity to 65,000,[8] but considering that attendance has become sparse over the last several years, under Friedgen and Randy Edsall, those plans have been put on hold or abandoned. Byrd Stadium's attendance record is 58,973, set on November 1, 1975. The record was achieved with temporary seating for a game featuring the #14 Terps and #9 Penn State.[9]

The lone version of the Presidential Cup college football bowl game was held here in December 1950. The USFL Baltimore Stars called the stadium home in 1985. Byrd Stadium has also hosted the Division I NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship ten times.[9]

Renaming and expansion plans[edit]

Tyser Tower contains 63 luxury suites
View of Tyser Tower. The Moxley Gardens can be seen in the left corner.

On August 24, 2006, the University of Maryland announced that it had agreed to a $20 million naming-rights deal with Chevy Chase Bank. The revenue from the deal was used to pay for renovations and upgrades to the Stadium.[10]

On April 25, 2007, the Athletic Department unveiled plans for a $50.8 million expansion to Byrd Stadium, a project that will increase overall capacity, add skyboxes complete with catered food and flat panel televisions, and lower the field to give spectators a better view.[11]

The first phase of the expansion plans has been completed and included renovating the old press tower and building 63 luxury suites that stretch from end zone to end zone. New mezzanine seating was added as well, bringing the capacity from 51,500 to 54,000.[12] A second LED video board was installed on the west side of the stadium just before the 2008 season.[11]

The second phase is to add an 8,000 seat upper deck to the stadium's west end zone bringing total seating capacity to over 60,000. This is dependent on the sale of all existing luxury suites from phase one. To date, no schedule for construction has been established.

On June 20, 2012, the Athletic Department announced plans for a new field at Byrd Stadium.[13] The installation of FieldTurf Revolution was completed in early August 2012, and included a new technology known as "CoolPlay" that reportedly keeps the field cooler (up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler) than traditional turf fields with rubber infill.[14][15] It was the first installation of its kind in the United States.

Trivia[edit]

Byrd Stadium during a 2007 game vs. the Clemson Tigers, before the expansion of Tyser Tower.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "Real Estate News". The Baltimore Sun. January 8, 1950. Retrieved September 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ History - Baltimore Contractors LLC
  4. ^ "2008 Football Game Notes - Maryland vs. No. 23 California". University of Maryland Athletics. September 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ "2009 Maryland Football Spring Prospectus". University of Maryland Athletics. 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Maryland Football 2011 Preseason Notes". University of Maryland Athletics. 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Maryland Football 2012 Preseason Notes". University of Maryland Athletics. 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Facilities". University of Maryland Athletics. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Athletic Facilities". University of Maryland Athletics. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Chevy Chase Bank Signs Naming Right Agreement for Byrd Stadium Field". University of Maryland. August 24, 2006. Archived from the original on August 31, 2006. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Carig, Marc (April 24, 2007). "Maryland's Byrd Stadium to Add Some Luxury". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 25, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Tyser Tower Expansion Project Progressing On Schedule" (Press release). University of Maryland Athletics. May 15, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Terps Installing Unique FieldTurf Surface". University of Maryland. June 20, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Byrd Stadium Synthetic Turf Project is Finished". University of Maryland Athletics. August 3, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Terps Installing FieldTurf Surface at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium". FieldTurf. June 20, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium - Football

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Camp Randall Stadium
Host of the
Drum Corps International
World Championship

2000
Succeeded by
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Preceded by
Hofstra Stadium
Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

1972
Succeeded by
Franklin Field
Preceded by
Rutgers Stadium I
Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

1979
Succeeded by
Schoellkopf Field
Preceded by
Carrier Dome
Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

1989
Succeeded by
Rutgers Stadium I
Preceded by
Franklin Field
Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

1993 – 1997
Succeeded by
Rutgers Stadium
Preceded by
Rutgers Stadium
Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

1999 – 2000
Succeeded by
Rutgers Stadium