Atwood Stadium

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Coordinates: 43°01′02″N 83°42′09″W / 43.0172779°N 83.7023985°W / 43.0172779; -83.7023985

Atwood Stadium
"The Little House"
Address 701 University Ave.
Location Flint, Michigan
Owner Kettering University
Capacity 11,000[1]
Website
www.kettering.edu/current-students/student-life/recreation/atwood-stadium

Atwood Stadium is an 11,000-seat stadium owned by Kettering University located in the Carriage Town historic district area of downtown Flint, Michigan. It is used mostly for American football, field lacrosse and soccer.

It opened on June 8, 1929 and was named after Edwin W. Atwood, who was elected as the Mayor of the City of Flint in 1920, and also donated a portion of the site for the stadium. It has hosted boxing matches, UAW strikes, high school football, minor-league baseball, election stump speeches, and concerts over the years. Originally Atwood Stadium had a natural grass field, but in 1968 began using artificial turf. Atwood's turf was ruled unsafe, leading to the stadium's closure in 1992. The stadium reopened in 1995 after $3.5 million in improvements, including a new artificial turf field. In 2015, the stadium is undergoing over $2 million in renovations to the restrooms, press box, concourse, exterior and playing field, and is expected to host Powers Catholic, Flint Southwestern and Flint Northwestern high school football in the fall of 2015.

History[edit]

From 1930 through 1976 the Annual Football game between Flint Central High School and Flint Northern High School was played on Thanksgiving Day and drew attendance in the tens of thousands of people. The 1950 game drew a record crowd of 20,600, thanks to standing room and temporary seating. Due to the development of state playoffs after 1976, the game was no longer held on Thanksgiving Day. Prior to the closure of Flint Central in 2009, Central won the overall series 41-39-1. Only four of the 81 meetings were not held at Atwood. The inaugural meeting in 1928 was held at Dort Field behind Flint Central. The 1929 meeting was held at Viking Field behind the original Flint Northern. Due to the stadium's temporary closure in 1992, the 1993 and 1994 Central-Northern games were held at Guy V. Houston Stadium, located near Flint Northwestern.

1936: President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech at the stadium.[2]

1966: Atwood Stadium was renovated with new ticket booths, a larger press box, improved lighting and new sod. The renovation also made Atwood an exclusive football stadium. After the sod failed the following year, Astroturf was installed in 1968.[3]

1967: The Who performed at the stadium on August 23, 1967.

1980: On August 2 Musicians Eddie Money, Pat Benatar, and Journey play at the stadium. 1985: On August 18 Deep Purple performed at the stadium. 2007: Atwood's seating received renovations, with new vinyl seats installed.

2007: Homecoming concert of American Idol Contestant LaKisha Jones.

2009: Homecoming tribute for Heisman Trophy winner and Flint Southwestern Academy graduate Mark Ingram, Jr. [4]

2010: The Hurley Foundation ran its last Tuuri road race, but was replaced in 2011 by the Atwood Stadium Road Race on the calendar and as a vouchered race for the Crim Training Program.[5]

2013: City of Flint Emergency Manager Mike Brown signed over ownership of Atwood Stadium to Kettering University.[6]

2015: Thanks to community gifts, Diplomat Pharmacy, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Kettering University, the Stadium is undergoing over $2 million in renovations and improvements to help reopen the stadium in time for the 2015 high school football season.

In recent years Atwood has been home to the annual season opening game between Flint Northwestern and Flint Beecher. Beecher is coached by former NFL player Courtney Hawkins, while Northwestern also has a famous alum as a coach, former NFL wide receiver Andre Rison. Beecher won the 2010 opener, 28-18, while Northwestern took the 2011 opener, 46-44, in double overtime. During recent odd-numbered years, it has also been the site of Powers Catholic's football game against Nouvel Catholic Central High School; when Powers is the home team, it is usually played at the beginning of the season. Due to the 2013 closure of Flint Northern High School and the relocation of Powers Catholic to downtown Flint, it is expected that Powers will be sharing Atwood with Southwestern Academy on a full-time basis. In 2013 and from 2015 onward, the annual Powers Catholic-Southwestern game is now played at Atwood.

Because of the annual Northwestern-Beecher game, Flint Southwestern has had to open its home schedule every few years at Guy Houston Stadium, which is Northwestern's normal home field. As Flint Community Schools games have precedence over Powers Catholic games, Powers sometimes uses Aagason Field at the Fr. Luke M. Powers Athletic Complex in Burton, home to the Bendle High School football team, as an alternate home field, on weeks of the Northwestern-Beecher game, and on weeks in which both Southwestern and Powers have home games.

Atwood Stadium is also the stadium used for Michigan Invitational Tournament, a high school marching band competition hosted by Flushing High School. One of the longest running marching band competitions in Michigan.

For hosting University of Michigan–Flint football, Atwood Stadium has been given the nickname "The Little House," because of its 11,000 seat capacity compared to "The Big House" Michigan Stadium, in Ann Arbor, which seats nearly 110,000.

Road Races[edit]

The Atwood Stadium Races is set of road races that begin and end at the stadium. The 10K and 5K are patterned after the race they replaced, the Tuuri, except for the start. It is an official Crim Training Program vouchered race. As with the Tuuri, the race is held on the fourth Saturday in July.[5]

In 2010, the Hurley Foundation ran its last Tuuri road race, but was replaced in 2011 by the Atwood Stadium Road Race.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]