Dreamstyle Stadium

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Dreamstyle Stadium
Turner & Margaret Branch Field[1]
Branch Field at University Stadium.png
View of Stadium from south stands
Former names University Stadium (1960–2017)
Location 1111 University Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, NM 87131
Coordinates 35°4′1″N 106°37′42″W / 35.06694°N 106.62833°W / 35.06694; -106.62833Coordinates: 35°4′1″N 106°37′42″W / 35.06694°N 106.62833°W / 35.06694; -106.62833
Owner University of New Mexico
Operator University of New Mexico
Capacity 30,000 (1960–1977)
30,646 (1978–1994)
31,218 (1995–2000)
37,370 (2001–2003)
38,634 (2004–2007)
40,094 (2008–2009)
39,224 (2010–present)[2]
Record attendance 44,760 (New Mexico vs. New Mexico State, 2005)
Surface FieldTurf
Construction
Broke ground 1958
Opened September 17, 1960
Construction cost $4.1 million
($33.9 million in 2017 dollars[3])
Architect W.C. Kruger and Associates
Tenants
New Mexico Lobos football (NCAA) (1960–present)
New Mexico Bowl (NCAA) (2006–present)

Dreamstyle Stadium, formerly known as University Stadium, is an outdoor football stadium located on the south campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.[4] It is the home field of New Mexico Lobos football, which competes as a member of the Mountain West Conference. The stadium opened in September 1960 and currently has a seating capacity of 39,224. The playing surface, named Turner & Margaret Branch Field, is oriented in the north-south configuration that is traditional for football venues. The stadium sits nearly a mile above sea level, at an elevation of 5,100 feet (1554 m).[5]

History[edit]

Replacement of Zimmerman Field[edit]

Before 1960, Lobos football teams played home games at Zimmerman Field, a 16,000-seat stadium which was located just south of the current Zimmerman Library on the university’s main campus. The growth of the university after World War II, with the concomitant growth in the popularity of varsity athletics, made it clear by the mid-1950s that a new, larger football venue was needed. Increasing enrollments also meant that space on the main campus was at a premium. As such, it was decided that a new stadium would be constructed off of the main campus, which would both allow adequate space for a much larger stadium, and free up space for desperately needed academic facilities on the main campus.

The university purchased land for the new stadium south of campus near the corner of Avenida Cesar Chavez and University Boulevard. This land became known as "south campus," and would eventually become the home of the entire UNM Athletic Department. Today, facilities located on south campus include The Pit (now formally named Dreamstyle Arena), Isotopes Park, the Lobo Tennis Club, Lobo Field, Lobo Softball field, the Rudy Davalos Basketball Center, athletics administration buildings, as well as the football stadium.[6][7] The new stadium was christened as University Stadium upon its opening in 1960. It consisted of grandstands along the east and west sidelines and a press box above the west stands. The stadium was built in an arroyo, with the seating bowl created by the piling of excavated fill material to form earthen embankments on which the stands could be built. This "berm" style of construction placed the field below ground level with seats extending both above and below the natural grade. The initial construction cost of the stadium was just over $4 million. The inaugural football game at University Stadium took place on September 17, 1960, with the Lobos defeating an overmatched National University of Mexico team by a score of 77-6.

A new press box with private suites was built before the 1976 season at a cost of $1.8 million. Because the stadium had been built on earthen fill, the press box had to be supported on large concrete piers that went down to the pre-existing ground level. In 1995, UNM made a major addition to University Stadium with the construction of the L.F. "Tow" Diehm Athletic Facility, a field house and athletic training facility located just beyond the south end zone. The athletics department announced in late 2011 that grass playing field would be replaced with a synthetic playing surface. FieldTurf was chosen as the artificial turf system by the UNM athletic department, and it was in place for the 2012 football season.[8]

Through the end of the 2017 season, Lobos Football has an all-time record of 163-168-3 at Dreamstyle Stadium.

Naming rights[edit]

In 2012, naming rights for the stadium's playing surface were secured by local attorneys Turner and Margaret Branch, who are alumni and long-time donors to the UNM athletic department.[9] Their $1.5 million donation to the “Lobo Leap to Excellence” capital campaign remains the second-largest single gift ever given to the athletic department by a living donor. On May 3, 2017, UNM announced a $10 million, 10-year naming-rights agreement with Dreamstyle Remodeling, a local Albuquerque construction company, covering both the University Stadium and University Arena. The venues were rechristened as Dreamstyle Stadium and Dreamstyle Arena.[10]

Expansion[edit]

The west stands and press box

The stadium was expanded in 2001, with stands, new bathroom and concessions facilities constructed beyond the north end zone. UNM also added a large, state-of-the-art scoreboard that included the "LoboVision" video screen. In 2004, portable bleachers were donated to UNM by the city of Albuquerque in 2004 to take the stadium's capacity beyond 39,000. Plans for future expansion have been adopted. The next phase of expansion includes renovations of the stadium's southwest and southeast corners, as well as adding 5,000 seats to the south end of the stadium. Additionally, a tunnel connecting Dreamstyle Stadium and the Tow Diehm Facility has also been planned to allow easier player access to locker rooms during games. When the currently planned renovations are completed, the stadium will seat over 43,000 spectators.

Notable events[edit]

New Mexico Bowl[edit]

Since December 2006, University Stadium has hosted the New Mexico Bowl. The game was funded by a $2 million line of credit from ESPN, and the inaugural edition featured New Mexico against future Mountain West Conference foe San Jose State, then of the Western Athletic Conference. SJSU defeated UNM 20-12. The game was the first Division I bowl game played in the state of New Mexico. University Stadium had hosted the Division II national championship, named the Zia Bowl, in early December 1979 and 1980.[11] In Zia Bowl I, Delaware defeated Youngstown State 38-21. In Zia Bowl II, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (now simply Cal Poly) beat Eastern Illinois 21-13. Attendance was 4,000 or less for both Zia Bowls, and in 1981 the Division II championship was moved to McAllen, Texas.[12]

Soccer[edit]

University Stadium hosted a U.S. women's national soccer team Women's World Cup qualifying match against Mexico in May 2004. Three U.S. men's national soccer team matches have been played in the stadium, with the most recent being a friendly match with Honduras in March 2005.

Concerts[edit]

The stadium has hosted concerts by many famous artists, including Metallica & The Rolling Stones, among others.

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
August 2, 1994 Metallica Danzig
Suicidal Tendencies
Candlebox
Fight
Shit Hits the Sheds Tour
October 30, 1997 The Rolling Stones Sheryl Crow Bridges to Babylon Tour 34,362 / 34,362 $2,075,326

Other events[edit]

The stadium recently hosted Nitro Circus Live

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.golobos.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/073112aab.html
  2. ^ http://www.golobos.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=26000&ATCLID=209096621
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  4. ^ Branch family purchase of naming rights
  5. ^ Topographic map from USGS The National Map
  6. ^ http://www.unm.edu/campusmap.html
  7. ^ Aerial photo from USGS The National Map
  8. ^ New playing turf, replaces grass
  9. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2012/08/university-stadium-football-turf-now.html
  10. ^ Jessica Dyer, Dream deal for UNM nets $10 million over 10 years, Albuquerque Journal, May 3, 2017
  11. ^ http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/bowls/bowl_results.php?bowlid=327
  12. ^ http://www.d2championship.com/History/DII%20Champ%20History.pdf