Drake Stadium

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For Elvin Drake Stadium at UCLA, see Drake Stadium (UCLA).
Drake Stadium
"The Blue Oval"
US Navy 110429-N-0000W-312 Members of the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs, perform above Drake Stadium during the opening ce.jpg
Former names "Haskins Field"
Location 2719 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa, 50311 United States
Coordinates 41°36′18″N 93°39′18″W / 41.60500°N 93.65500°W / 41.60500; -93.65500Coordinates: 41°36′18″N 93°39′18″W / 41.60500°N 93.65500°W / 41.60500; -93.65500
Owner Drake University
Operator Drake University
Capacity 18,000 (1925-2005)
14,557 (2006-present)
Surface FieldTurf
Broke ground 1925
Opened October 10, 1925[3]
Renovated 2005
Construction cost $15 million (2005 renovation)[1]
Architect RDG Planning & Design (2005 renovation)[2]
Drake Bulldogs (football and soccer) (NCAA) (1925-2004, 2006-present)
Drake Relays (1925-present)
USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 2010, 2013
NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship 1970, 2008, 2011, 2012
NCAA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championship 2008, 2011, 2012

Drake Stadium is a stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. It is primarily used for the Drake Relays, and is the home field of the Drake University Bulldogs. It opened in 1925 and underwent a $15 million renovation in 2005. Widening the track reduced the stadium's seating capacity from 18,000 to 14,557.[4] The football field at Drake Stadium is named in honor of Drake alumnus and football great, Johnny Bright and the track is name after famed announcer Jim Duncan.[5] All athletes have benefited by improved track and field facilities, especially from the installation of new track surfaces.

The installation of a $175,000 tartan track in 1969 replaced the cinder track. It was a magnificent 60th birthday present for Drake Relays competitors and fans. In 1976, all individual events at the Drake Relays went metric; in 1978, the conversion was completed with rebuilding of the track into a 400-meter oval so that relay races, too, could go metric. The Jim Duncan Track was resurfaced in the summer of 1989 in Drake blue school colors, featuring a combination of polyurethane coating and EPDM rubber granules.

Drake Stadium has seen the Drake Bulldogs win ten conference championships in football, while advancing to twelve college football bowl games. As part of the stadium renovation an artificial surface was installed for both football and soccer. The stadium is also the home field for Des Moines Roosevelt High School and for some games for Dowling High School. It is currently the largest stadium in the Pioneer Football League.

Drake Stadium is also the home to the Drake Relays, one of the premier track and field meets in the country. Thousands of high school, college, and professional track athletes come to Drake Stadium in late April to compete in one of the largest track meets in the United States. The stadium also hosts the Iowa boys and girls high school track state championships.

The 2005-06 renovation project improved many aspects of the stadium. The surface area of the stadium was flattened (previously the infield sat several feet lower than the track surface). It created a reconfigured track to meet NCAA, national and international standards, improved seating, and added a "safety lane" on the outside of the track for athletes (in the old configuration, fans could easily make contact with a competitor in lane 8). In addition, a new scoreboard with video screen was placed at the northeast corner of the stadium.

In addition, Drake Stadium hosted the 1970, 2008, 2011, and 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the 2010 and 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.[6] The 2008 NCAAs doubled the previous four-day record crowd with a total attendance of 41,187 (including over 11,000 for the final day) despite heavy flooding in Des Moines.


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