Commonwealth Stadium (Kentucky)

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Commonwealth Stadium
C.M. Newton Field
KentuckyCommonwealthStadium-Exterior.jpg
Location 1540 University Drive, Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Coordinates 38°1′22″N 84°30′19″W / 38.02278°N 84.50528°W / 38.02278; -84.50528Coordinates: 38°1′22″N 84°30′19″W / 38.02278°N 84.50528°W / 38.02278; -84.50528
Broke ground July 23, 1972[1]
Opened September 15, 1973[2]
Renovated 2015
Expanded 1999
Owner University of Kentucky
Operator University of Kentucky
Surface Bermuda Grass
Construction cost $12 million
($63.8 million in 2014 dollars[3])
Architect HNTB
General contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichols[2]
Capacity 61,000 (2015-)
67,942 (2009-2015)
67,606 (2003-2008)
67,530 (1999-2002)
55,453 (1998)
57,800 (1991-1997)
56,696 (1979-1990)
58,000 (1973-1978)
Tenants
Kentucky Wildcats football (NCAA) (1973–present)
Kentucky State Marching Band Championships (KEMA) (1986-2005, 2007-2010)

Commonwealth Stadium is the name of a stadium in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. This stadium, named for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is located on the campus of the University of Kentucky and is the home field for the school's football team, replacing the smaller Stoll Field/McLean Stadium. The field is named C.M. Newton Field in honor of retired UK athletic director and former baseball and basketball player C.M. Newton.

Built in 1973, it is the newest football stadium in the Southeastern Conference, as measured by date of original construction. The original capacity for the stadium was 57,800. In Commonwealth's first game, played on September 15, 1973, the Wildcats defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 31–26, as quarterback Ernie Lewis ran for two touchdowns and threw for another touchdown to lead the Wildcats. The facility currently seats 67,942.

In 1999 both ends of the stadium were enclosed and 40 suites were added, 10 in each corner of the stadium, resulting in a symmetrical oval bowl. The total cost of the expansion was $27.6 million. During the 1999 season, Kentucky's average home attendance for football games was 67,756. Attendance for the game against Tennessee that year was 71,022, which remained the record attendance until the Wildcats' 2007 game against Florida drew 71,024. In recent years, crowds of over 70,000 have become very common.

Since 1999, fireworks have been shot from atop the suites after every Wildcat touchdown.

In July 2011, the University of Kentucky announced a massive audio and video upgrade to Commonwealth Stadium. These upgrades include two LED video boards each measuring approximately 37 feet (11 m) high by 80 feet (24 m) wide (2,960 square feet), making each display the 20th-largest scoreboard in the country. Combined, the 5,920 square feet (550 m2) will make the new video boards one of the largest scoreboard systems in the country. Additionally, a new custom audio system and over 1,800 linear sq/ft of video ribbon board will be implemented by September 10, 2011.


The approximate cost of the upgrades total close to $6 million.

The stadium is currently undergoing a $110 million renovation. The renovation includes a new press box, loge box seats, club seats, recruiting room, suites, concourses, bathrooms, lights and exterior facade while reducing capacity to around 61,000. The project is expected to be completed by the start of the 2015 season.

Interior 2008
Exterior 2008

Stadium records[edit]

Record description Record Record holder(s) Date Opponent Final Score
Most rushing yards, game 272 yds Moe Williams November 11, 1995 Cincinnati 33-14
Most passing yards, game 528 yds Jared Lorenzen October 21, 2000 Georgia 30-32
Most receptions, game 16 Craig Yeast November 14, 1998 Vanderbilt 55-17
Most receiving yards, game 269 yds Craig Yeast November 14, 1998 Vanderbilt 55-17
Longest run from line of scrimmage 88 yds Jalen Whitlow November 2, 2013 Alabama State 48-14
Longest pass play 91 yds Buck Belue^ to Amp Arnold^ October 25, 1980 Georgia 0-27
Longest field goal 54 yds Hap Hines^ October 26, 1996 Georgia 24-17
Longest Punt 86 yds Donnie Jones^ November 9, 2002 LSU 30-33
Longest Kickoff Return 100 yds Willie Shelby^
Tyrone Prothro^
Derrick Locke
September 22, 1973
October 9, 2004
September 19, 2009
Alabama
Alabama
Louisville
14-28
17-45
31-27
Longest Punt Return 84 yds Rafael Little November 18, 2006 Louisiana-Monroe 42-40
Longest Interception Return 91 yds Greg Long September 5, 1981 North Texas State 28-6
Most Points Scored 77 Kentucky September 7, 2002 UTEP 77-17
Most overtimes 7* Kentucky November 1, 2003 Arkansas 63-71

^ Denotes Non-Kentucky Player
* Tied the NCAA record for most overtimes

Pregame of 2005 Kentucky vs. Auburn game.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Commonwealth Stadium 35th anniversary". Kentucky Sports Network. July 28, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Commonwealth Stadium". University of Kentucky Department of Athletics. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.

External links[edit]