Bridgeforth Stadium and Zane Showker Field

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Bridgeforth Stadium
Bridgeforth Panorama.JPEG
Bridgeforth Panorama
Former names Madison Stadium (1975-1981)
JMU Stadium (1981-1989)
Location Champions Dr.
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Owner James Madison University
Operator James Madison University
Capacity 24,877 (2011–present)[1]
15,694 (2010)
15,778 (2008–2009)
13,559 (2001–2007)
12,500 (1981–2000)
5,200 (1975–1980)
Surface Astroturf 1975 to 2005
FieldTurf 2006 to present
Construction
Broke ground 1973
Opened September 20, 1975[2]
Expanded 1981, 2011
Construction cost $62 million (expansion)
Architect HKS, Inc. (Sports Design - expansion), Moseley Architects (Architect of Record - expansion)
Tenants
James Madison Dukes football (1975-present)

Bridgeforth Stadium and Zane Showker Field is a football stadium located on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The stadium is home to the James Madison University Dukes football team.

Bridgeforth Stadium, with a seating capacity of 24,877, is currently the largest stadium in the Colonial Athletic Association and 13th largest at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level.

History[edit]

Originally named Madison Stadium, it was built in 1975 and had a capacity of approximately 5,200.[3] The stadium was originally designed as a multi-purpose facility, and hosted football, track and field, lacrosse, and field hockey events. In addition, the stadium contained indoor racquetball courts, several classrooms, support space for the JMU ROTC program, and administrative offices for JMU varsity athletic teams and media relations. In 1981, the stadium then called JMU Stadium, underwent its first expansion which included a second set of seats giving it a total capacity of more than 12,000. The stadium was again renamed in 1990 for William E. Bridgeforth, former member of the JMU Board of Visitors. In 2003 the field was named in honor of JMU benefactor Zane Showker (whose name is also on the building for JMU's School of Business). In 2004, the university added a new scoreboard with video replay features, which was dismantled after the 2010 season as part of a signifigcant renovation of the entire facility. It was replaced by a much larger video scoreboard behind the south endzone. In 2006, the existing artificial turf was replaced with FieldTurf. The stadium is situated in the Lakeside area of campus, and is adjacent to the multimillion-dollar Plecker Athletic Center and a five story parking deck.[4]

Renovation[edit]

A major stadium renovation and expansion project began in December 2009. The expansion included the demolition of the then existing west stands, removal of the track, and the construction of a $62 million, two-tiered complex in its place.[5] After completion in August 2011, Bridgeforth Stadium's seating capacity was raised to 24,877 permanent seats. In addition to increased seating, the expansion included the construction of a larger video and scoreboard, the addition of 17 suites, a club lounge with chairback seating, and increased stadium lighting. All total, the completion of the Bridgeforth Stadium and Zane Showker Field complex, including the Plecker Athletic Performance Center and parking deck, represents an investment of approximately $90 million.

On September 10, 2011 the Dukes played for the first time in the newly expanded stadium. In front of a sellout crowd of 25,102 fans, the Dukes defeated the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State University by a score of 14-9.

Bridgeforth Stadium in 2007

Notable Games[edit]

Some of the recent notable games in JMU history that have been played at Bridgeforth Stadium are:

  • The 20-13 victory over Delaware University in 2004
  • The 2008 35-32 victory over Appalachian State
  • The 38-35 victory over Wofford in the first round of the 2008 FCS playoffs
  • The 31-27 victory over Villanova in the second round of the 2008 FCS playoffs
  • The 2010 victory over the FCS #1 William and Mary 30-24
  • The 14-9 victory over Central Connecticut State in the 2011 debut of the newly renovated Bridgeforth Stadium
  • The 27-26 double overtime victory over William and Mary, the 31-24 come back victory over William and Mary
  • The 2015 59-49 loss against Richmond in front of a record 26,069 fans on the heels of a visit from ESPNs College Gameday Show
  • The 2015 38-29 win over Villanova clinching JMUs first CAA football title since 2008
  • The record setting 84-7 win over Rhode Island in 2016.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Game Preview Capsules for ODU, JMU, Norfolk State". Richmond Times-Dispatch. August 31, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-07. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  3. ^ The Hillside Gang James Madisum University Retrieved July 21, 2011
  4. ^ "Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.." James Madison Athletics Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  5. ^ http://www.nbc29.com/story/13009074/jmu-debuts-football-stadium-expansion

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 38°26′7″N 78°52′23″W / 38.43528°N 78.87306°W / 38.43528; -78.87306