Huskie Stadium

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Not to be confused with Husky Stadium, the home football field of the University of Washington.
Huskie Stadium
"The House That Bork Built"
Northern Illinois Huskie Stadium.jpg
Former names Huskie Stadium (1974–2003)
Location 1245 Stadium Drive South
DeKalb, IL 60115
Coordinates 41°56′2″N 88°46′40″W / 41.93389°N 88.77778°W / 41.93389; -88.77778Coordinates: 41°56′2″N 88°46′40″W / 41.93389°N 88.77778°W / 41.93389; -88.77778
Broke ground January 30, 1964
Opened September 18, 1965
Expanded 1982, 1995
Owner Northern Illinois University
Operator Northern Illinois University
Surface Astroturf 1969 to 2000
FieldTurf 2001 to present
Construction cost $2,265,172 (Original)
($17 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Holabird & Root, Chicago (West)
HOK Sport (East expansion)
General contractor Peterson-Roberts Construction[2]
Capacity 23,595 (2007-present)[3]
28,000 (2003-2006)[2]
31,000 (1995-2002)[2]
30,998 (1982-1994)[2]
20,257 (1965-1981)[2]
Tenants
Northern Illinois Huskies (NCAA) (1965-present)

Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Illinois is the home field of the Northern Illinois University "Huskies." It opened in 1965 and is primarily used for American football.

Location[edit]

Huskie Stadium is on the west end of the campus, bordered by Stadium Drive to the south, the Yordon Athletic Center to the north, Mary Bell Field to the east, and Ralph McKinzie Field to the west.

Stadium History[edit]

Early Years[edit]

Before the 1966 college football season, the Huskies played at Glidden Field, a 5,500 seat facility on the east end of campus. However, after quarterback George Bork lead them to an AP Small College National Championship in 1963, they began the construction of Huskie Stadium. On September 20, 1969, the game between Northern Illinois and Idaho marked the state's first major-college gridiron contest played on artificial turf; the Huskies won, 47–30. The field was re-carpeted in 1980 and 1990 before being replaced by a new FieldTurf surface in 2001. The stadium originally consisted of the main concrete west stands (which used to contain practice facilities for the gymnastics and wrestling teams) and much smaller temporary stands on the east side. The east side was completely redone in 1995, creating a steel structure to mirror the concrete one. The university has maintained and enhanced the institution's all-around athletics facility, updating the scoreboard and video display system in both 2000 and 2001, and creating the South End Zone berm in 2002. In 2003, the field was renamed Brigham Field in honor of Robert J. Brigham, a former player, coach, and athletic director at the school.

The stadium was also the site of a few NCAA records. On October 6, 1990, against Fresno State, quarterback Stacey Robinson rushed for 287 yards (262 m) in the 1st half, and finished with 308 overall, as the Huskies upset then-24th ranked Bulldogs, by a final score of 73–18. In that game, the Huskies established school records for rushing yards(733), total offense (806), and First Downs (36). It was also the first victory over a ranked opponent at the stadium. Additionally, on November 26, 2013, Jordan Lynch rushed for 321 yards, setting an NCAA FBS record for most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback.

Recent Years[edit]

In 2005, it was announced that the NIU Academic and Athletic Performance Center, a new field house and athletic training facility, would be built in the north end zone.

The Huskies have experienced large amounts of success in the national spotlight, defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Iowa State Cyclones and the Maryland Terrapins. Because of the Huskies success, NIU has averaged the highest attendance per game in the MAC between 2004-2006.

In recent years, the football program has generated national headlines for the institution. With seven consecutive winning seasons (best in the MAC), Northern Illinois has the 25th best record in the nation since 2000 (53–30)---including triumphs over Bowl Championship Series programs such as Wake Forest, Minnesota, University of Alabama, Kansas, University of Maryland, Purdue University (2009, 2013), Iowa, and Iowa State University among others. The Huskies finished ranked in the Top 30 during the 2003 and 2004 seasons and defeated Troy University, 34–21, in the 2004 Silicon Valley Football Classic. In 2006, NIU faced off against TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, California making it the second time in three years NIU had gone to a postseason bowl game. The Huskies made it four bowls in six years with a trip to the International Bowl in 2010 against the University of South Florida. Later, in 2012, they became the first Non-AQ team with one loss to go to a BCS bowl game (Orange Bowl).

With the addition of the Yordon Athletic Center, the total capacity for the Stadium has decreased to 23,595. In 2013, the stadium sold out for the first time in a while, selling out twice that year. [4][5]

Yordon Athletic Center[edit]

The $14-million NIU Academic and Athletic Performance Center, which is located at the north end zone, opened in August 2007. At a press conference in conjunction with the annual Northern Illinois Spring Football Game, first-year Athletics Director Jim Phillips announced on April 23, 2005, that Huskie Intercollegiate Athletics would embark on the largest capital project in its history. NIU began breaking ground for the new all-purpose facility in the fall of 2006 and was finished in August 2007.

Inside the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center is a new 3,150 sq ft (293 m2) football locker room with a 780 sq ft (72 m2) gathering area, a 12,505 sq ft (1,161.8 m2) strength and conditioning center (largest in the MAC), an academic support center, athletic training room with rehab pools, a 150-seat meeting room, video editing room, all 10 coaches' offices, football equipment room, coaches' locker room, and state-of-the-art computer classrooms for student-athletes.

Chessick Practice Center[edit]

In 2013, NIU opened their state of the art indoor practice center. The practice center features a full-size 120-yard practice field with two end zones and overrun buffer space around the field for safety. The practice room itself is 80,600 square feet, with 6,400 square feet in the adjoining Barsema Hall of Champions. [6]

Attendance Records[edit]

  1. 28,211 vs. Western Michigan (10-18-2003)
  2. 28,218 vs. Iowa State (09-27-2003)
  3. 28,071 vs. Southern Illinois (09-11-2004)
  4. 28,018 vs. Maryland (08-28-2003)
  5. 27,802 vs. Long Beach State (09-12-1981)

References[edit]

External links[edit]