Falcon Stadium

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Falcon Stadium
April 2002
Location Stadium Blvd,
USAFA, CO 80840
Coordinates 38°59′49″N 104°50′32″W / 38.99694°N 104.84222°W / 38.99694; -104.84222Coordinates: 38°59′49″N 104°50′32″W / 38.99694°N 104.84222°W / 38.99694; -104.84222
Owner United States Air Force
Operator U.S. Air Force Academy
Capacity 40,828 (1962–1971)
46,668 (1972–1985)
52,123 (1986–1992)
52,000 (1993–1994)
50,126 (1995)
52,480 (1996–2004)
46,692 (2005–present)
Record attendance 56,409 (Air Force vs. Notre Dame, 2002)
Surface FieldTurf (2006–present)
Natural grass (1962–2005)
Construction
Broke ground 1962
Opened September 22, 1962
Expanded 1972, 1990
Construction cost $3.5 Million
($27.3 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Praeger-Kavanaugh-Waterbury[2]
Slater Paul Architects (renovations)
General contractor R. H. Baker Inc.[2]
Tenants
Air Force Falcons (NCAA) (1962–present)

Falcon Stadium is an outdoor football stadium on the campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is the home field of the Air Force Falcons of the Mountain West Conference. It also serves as the site for the academy's graduation ceremonies each spring.

History[edit]

Falcon Stadium opened in 1962, at a cost of $3.5 million, and has a current seating capacity of 46,692. The first game was on September 22, 1962, when Air Force Falcons defeated Colorado State 24–0. Until that time, from 1956-61, Air Force played its home games at various sites across the state.[3][4] Most games were played at the University of Denver's DU Stadium, but several were played in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and CU's Folsom Field in Boulder.[5]

Falcon Stadium has often been the site of pranks during the weeks Air Force plays Army and Navy. In 1991, midshipmen from the Naval Academy sneaked into the stadium and repainted the seats that spelled out "AIR FORCE" to read "AIR FARCE".[6]

Construction[edit]

An April 2002 satellite view of Falcon Stadium

Falcon Stadium was built into a natural bowl southeast of the center of the academic campus (and 500 feet (150 m) below). As with the rest of the campus, Falcon Stadium lies at the base of the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains. The design of Falcon Stadium is unbalanced, with the western side having two large grandstand tiers above the main bowl and the eastern having a single tier bordered by seven separate sections of grandstands.

The playing field is aligned in the traditional north-south configuration at an elevation of 6,621 feet (2,018 m) above sea level.[7] Falcon Stadium is the second highest in FBS college football, exceeded only by Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium, which is 600 feet (183 m) higher. The Walkup Skydome at FCS Northern Arizona in Flagstaff is also slightly higher, by 250 feet (76 m).

Falcon Stadium had a natural grass field for its first 44 years, although the sideline areas where teams stood were artificial turf since the 1980s. Prior to the 2006 football season, synthetic FieldTurf was installed at a cost of $750,000. Natural grass now makes up the perimeter of the FieldTurf surface. Permanent lighting was installed in Falcon Stadium in 2002 at a cost of $500,000, and the video screen at the south end of the field was installed in 2004. A new sound system was also installed for the 2006 season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Falcon Stadium, United States Air Force Academy, 6/30/2012
  3. ^ cfbdatawarehouse.com, 1956 data
  4. ^ cfbdatawarehouse.com, 1960 data
  5. ^ MacCambridge, Michael, ed. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. New York: Hyperion, 2005. Pg. 68.
  6. ^ Midshipmen paint academy plane as prank before game | Gazette, The (Colorado Springs)
  7. ^ Topographic map from USGS via Microsoft Research Maps

External links[edit]