Hancock Stadium

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Hancock Stadium
ISU vs Drake at Hancock Stadium.jpg
Location N Main St & W Locust St Normal, IL 61761
Coordinates 40°30′43″N 88°59′48″W / 40.51194°N 88.99667°W / 40.51194; -88.99667Coordinates: 40°30′43″N 88°59′48″W / 40.51194°N 88.99667°W / 40.51194; -88.99667
Owner Illinois State University
Operator Illinois State University
Capacity 13,391 (2013-present)[1]
7,700 (2012)[2]
9,500 (2011)
11,500 (2010)
14,000 (2008-2009)
15,000 (1977-2007)
18,000 (1963-1976)
Surface Fieldturf
Construction
Opened 1963
Renovated 1969 (added turf), 2013
Construction cost $20 million (renovations)[1]
Architect BDMD Architects (renovations)
Website
http://www.goredbirds.com/facilities/hancock-stadium.html

Hancock Stadium is a 13,391-seat[1] multi-purpose stadium in Normal, Illinois. It opened in 1963.[3] It is home to the Illinois State University Redbirds football team.

History[edit]

Opened in 1963 and named after former Illinois State's athletic director Dr Howard Hancock. In 1969, Hancock Stadium became Illinois's first college stadium that featured artificial turf as its playing surface.[3] The artificial turf was replaced and a new scoreboard was installed,[4] but these are the only noteworthy upgrades in the nearly forty-five year history of the facility.

For many years, Hancock Stadium was the home of the Illinois High School football championships. The games moved in 1999 to Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hancock Stadium - The Renovation[edit]

In 2000 the Kaufman Football Building was opened.[3] This facility is now the home to the players and coaches. In recent years, Redbird football has enjoyed a resurgence of spirit and success, all bringing attention to the ailing facility. Under the leadership of athletic director (Gary Friedman) and university president (Dr. Al Bowman), plans detailing the Hancock Stadium Stadium renovations were unveiled in 2011.

The plans boast upgrades to the design of the new east-side grandstand, bleacher-back seating on the entire new east-side grandstand, wide and spacious concourse, entirely new concession and restroom facilities, premium seating options, including 500+ chairback club seats, 5,500 sq. ft, indoor club accessible to club seat holders and 7 suites, state-of-the-art press level above the indoor club, Redbird Team Store, where fans can purchase ISU gear, a brand new ticket office to improve the fan experience on game days, and a new sound system and scoreboard (if funding allows).[5] Newly renovated Hancock Stadium's capacity is 13,391[1] The estimated cost of the Hancock Stadium renovation is $20 million.[6]

In the summer of 2011, the south bleachers of the stadium were removed to potentially start the first phase of renovations. Also fiberglass bleachers are a thing of the past, as new metal bleachers were installed on the west side of Hancock Stadium in August 2011.[7]

Eye to the Future[edit]

The design of the new east-side grandstand takes into account possible future growth and expansion.[5]

Big Red Marching Machine[edit]

The Big Red Marching Machine before the 2007 ISU season opener

Hancock Stadium is the home of the Big Red Marching Machine. The BRMM was once one of the largest marching bands in the nation and still earns national notoriety.[4]

Each October, the stadium hosts the Illinois Invitational High School Band Championship where scores of high school marching bands compete for the state title.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "No. 24 Redbirds Re-Open Hancock Stadium Against Abilene Christian". Illinois State University Department of Athletics. September 17, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ "No. 19 Redbirds Set To Open Season vs. Dayton". Illinois State University Department of Athletics. August 29, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Hancock Stadium". Illinois State University Department of Athletics. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Hancock Stadium - Turf Replacement". Illinois State University. Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Why Build". Illinois State University Department of Athletics. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ Reinhardt, Randy (September 27, 2011). "ISU's Hancock Stadium to Get $20 Million Upgrade". The Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL). Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ http://wjbc.com/tags/hancock-stadium/page/4/

External links[edit]