Foreman Field in 2015
|Location||5115 Hampton Boulevard
Norfolk, Virginia 23529
|Owner||Old Dominion University|
|Surface||AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D|
|Opened||October 3, 1936|
($5.29 million in 2014 dollars)
|Architect||Ellerbe Becket (renovation)|
Foreman Field at S. B. Ballard Stadium is a 20,118-seat multi-purpose stadium on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. It opened in 1936 with a football game between the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary's Norfolk Division (which is now Old Dominion University). It is currently being used to house Old Dominion Monarchs football games, along with the Monarch Marching Band
The stadium was once the home of the Norfolk Division of William & Mary (now Old Dominion University) football program from 1936 until its 1941 demise, and has undergone remodeling for Old Dominion's new Monarchs college football team for its start in 2009.
Foreman Field served as the home stadium for the Norfolk State University football program (also located in Norfolk, VA) throughout the 1980s and 1990s until completion of Norfolk State's 30,000 seat William "Dick" Price Stadium in 1997.
Foreman Field hosted the annual Oyster Bowl game from 1946 to 1995, featuring major college football teams in its early decades. Syracuse defeated Navy there in 1959 on its way to winning the national championship. Future NFL stars Fran Tarkenton, Roger Staubach, and Don Meredith played in Oyster Bowl games. It was also the home of the minor pro Norfolk Neptunes in the 1960s and 1970s, and the Washington Redskins played several pre-season games there in the 1960s.
Over the years Foreman Field was used for several high profile concerts including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's 1974 reunion tour, more than 33,000 people were in attendance.
The Virginia Ambassadors of the World Football League were to play their games at Foreman Field in 1974 before the franchise was sold and moved to Orlando. The Shreveport Pirates of the Canadian Football League almost moved there for the 1996 season before the franchise folded. The United Football League's Virginia Destroyers likewise considered Foreman Field as a potential location before instead choosing the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. A drawing of Foreman Field is featured in the John Grisham novel Bleachers.
Old Dominion Football
The stadium underwent a $24.8 million renovation in preparation for the start of the 2009 I-AA season. In July 2009, the stadium was renamed Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium, in honor of a local contractor, who donated more than $2.5 million for the stadium. On September 5, 2009, the first ODU football game was held at Foreman Field. Old Dominion defeated Chowan University 36–21.
In 2016, Populous did a expansion study and recommended that Foreman Field be torn down and rebuilt because the existing structure could not be updated to meet modern building codes. Old Dominion University endorsed the study findings and the plan to renovate the stadium was approved by the Virginia General Assembly in 2017. Phase I of the stadium renovation will be completed between the 2018 and 2019 football seasons. The capacity after the completion of Phase I will 22,130. The capacity after Phase II will be over 30,000.
- ODU Sports Report on Opening Game of 2011 Season
- Minium, Harry (May 11, 2009). "What's in a Name". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- Foreman Field Stadium - Pages from Norfolk's Past
- Radford, Rich (September 26, 2007). "ODU Plans $24.8 Million Renovation of Foreman Field". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
- ODU stadium to bear name of contractor, $2.5M benefactor
- O'Dell, Larry (September 5, 2009). "Old Dominion Beats Chowan 36-21". Associated Press. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
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