Waldo Stadium

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Waldo Stadium
Waldo Stadium, October 8, 2016.jpg
Former names Western State Teachers College Field
Location 1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008
Coordinates 42°17′9″N 85°36′4″W / 42.28583°N 85.60111°W / 42.28583; -85.60111Coordinates: 42°17′9″N 85°36′4″W / 42.28583°N 85.60111°W / 42.28583; -85.60111
Owner Western Michigan University
Operator Western Michigan University
Capacity 30,200 (1989–present)
25,000 (1973–1988)
15,000 (1939–1972)
Record attendance 36,361 (September 16, 2000 vs Indiana State)[1]
Surface FieldTurf (2006–present)
NexTurf (2000–2005)
Prescription Athletic Turf (1992–1999)
Astroturf (1974–1991)
Natural Grass (1939–1973)
Construction
Broke ground 1938
Opened October 7, 1939[4]
Renovated 1995, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2015
Expanded 1973, 1989
Construction cost $250,000 USD
($4.4 million in 2017 dollars[2])

$5.6 Million (2013-2015 Renovation)[3]
Tenants
Western Michigan Broncos (NCAA) (1939–present)

Waldo Stadium is a football stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is primarily used for football, and has been the home of Western Michigan University Broncos football in rudimentary form since 1914, and as a complete stadium since 1939. It currently has a capacity of 30,200 spectators.

History[edit]

The stadium was built at a cost of $250,000 ($4.3 million in 2016), and it opened in 1939 with a 6–0 win over Miami University.[5] The cost for Waldo Stadium also included the construction of Hyames Field, the school's baseball stadium directly west of the football field. The stadium is named for Dwight B. Waldo, first president of the school.[5]

The location of Waldo Stadium has been home for Western football since 1914. A field, without a stadium or modern seating, existed through 1938, until the construction and completion of the stadium in 1939. It originally included an eight-lane track, which has since moved to Kanley Track across Stadium Drive. Financing came through private donations, and those who donated were awarded tickets to the inaugural game against Western Kentucky University. Over the years, WMU continued adding seating to the stadium. In 1973 the capacity was increased to 25,000, and AstroTurf replaced the natural grass field[6]. A renovation in 1989 pushed the available seats to 30,200.[7] In 1993 permanent lighting was added, and in 1995 the University added 325 club seats to the press box[6]. In 1998 the Bill Brown Alumni Football Center was completed, which created new offices for staff, suites, and upgraded facilities for the team.

Flooding in Waldo Stadium on October 14th, 2017. With the lowest elevation in Kalamazoo[8], run off from Stadium Drive and the surrounding area flowed down through the tunnels onto the field. Notice the water flow out of the visitors tunnel on the opposite side of the field between two end zone pylons.

In 2013, the athletic department made almost $3.5 million in renovations and upgrades to Waldo Stadium and Seelye Center, the football team's indoor practice facility. Included in the upgrades were: new artificial turf for stadium, new brown and gold turf for the indoor practice facility, a revamped and upgraded weight room, a remodeled locker room, renovated meeting rooms, and a new team lounge and showplace.[9] Additional renovations were made to the stadium complex from 2014 to 2015 including new speakers for the stadium, new scoreboards and video boards bringing renovation costs to $5.7 million since 2013. A $2 million donation for the project was made by 1988 WMU alum Alec Gores[10].

On October 14th, 2017, the Bronco football team was slated to play Akron for homecoming, when rains from a fall storm combined with drainage system failures flooded the field and postponed the game[11]. Also contributing to the flood, Waldo Stadium is considered the lowest point in the city of Kalamazoo[8]. The game was played at 1pm the next day (A possible Sunday first for Waldo Stadium), and the Broncos were defeated by Akron 13-14. It was reported that over 1 million gallons of water were pumped off the field overnight to prepare the field for the Sunday game[8].

Attendance[edit]

A Waldo Stadium-record crowd of 36,361 saw the Broncos defeat Indiana State University 56–0, in 2000.[5]

The highest season-average attendance occurred in 1999, with an average of 26,874 per game.[5]

Indiana University was the first Big Ten school to play at Waldo Stadium in 2007.[12] Over 32,000 fans saw IU defeat WMU in a rain-filled night game. Other BCS conference teams to visit Waldo Stadium include Virginia in 2003 and Virginia Tech in 2002. Waldo Stadium hosted Western Michigan versus Michigan State in 2015. The Broncos had plans to host Illinois in 2016, but Illinois backed out of that arrangement and the Broncos traveled to Champaign to play Illinois on their own turf. Western Michigan embarrassed Illiniois in that game, winning 34-10.[13]

Waldo Stadium also holds two of the top four home attendance figures in Mid-American Conference history and 5 of the top 10 home crowds.

Seelye Center[edit]

In 2003, the stadium took on a new look with the completion of the $25 million Donald J. Seelye Center. The Seelye Center rises eight stories and houses an indoor practice field, weight and fitness rooms, and staff offices.[5][14] It is located on the edge of the northeast endzone, allowing the Seelye club suites to get a view of the game. The Seelye Center incorporated the existing Oakland Gymnasium into the structure, allowing for a very modern entrance on one side, and a retro style on the other.

Home field records[edit]

WMU Bronco Football Home Records Since 2000

Year Win Loss Avg. Attendance
2000 5 0
2001 4 1
2002 2 4
2003 3 3
2004 1 4
2005 5 1 18,906[15]
2006 5 0
2007 2 4
2008 5 0
2009 3 2 20,330[15]
2010 3 3 14,678[15]
2011 5 0 19,985[15]
2012 3 3 14,579[15]
2013 0 5 17,347[16]
2014 3 2 15,625[16]
2015 4 2 19,441[16]
2016 6 0 23,838
Total 59 34 18,303

High school football[edit]

In 1975, Waldo Stadium was one of the hosts for the inaugural MHSAA Football State Championship in Class A and Class D. Livonia Franklin beat Traverse City (now Traverse City Central) 21-7 in the Class A title game while Crystal Falls Forest Park defeated Flint Holy Rosary 50-0 in the Class D title game.[17] The finals for all classes were moved to the newly constructed Pontiac Silverdome beginning with the 1976 title games.

In May 2010, the Kalamazoo Valley Association (a local high school athletic conference) announced that it would be playing an inaugural Kalamazoo Valley Association Football Classic at the stadium.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Waldo Stadium". Football.ballparks.com. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Western Michigan football scoreboard project underway, expected to be finished by Michigan State game". MLive.com. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Western Michigan Broncos 1939 Season Schedule - databaseFootball.com/College". Databasefootball.com. Archived from the original on March 21, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Waldo Stadium - WMUBroncos.com—Official Web Site of Western Michigan Athletics". Wmubroncos.com. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Waldo Stadium - Facts, figures, pictures and more of the Western Michigan Broncos college football stadium". Collegegridirons.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017. 
  7. ^ "2007 Western Michigan football media guide" (PDF). Western Michigan University. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "WMU drains 1M gallons of water, loses to Akron". Detroit News. Retrieved 2017-12-29. 
  9. ^ "Waldo Stadium Renovations". Mlive.com. 2015. Retrieved Jan 10, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Official Site of Western Michigan Athletics". www.wmubroncos.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29. 
  11. ^ "Flooded field postpones WMU homecoming game to 1 p.m. Sunday". MLive.com. Retrieved 2017-12-28. 
  12. ^ "2007 Media Guide" (PDF). Western Michigan University. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  13. ^ Kalamazoo Gazette file. "Western Michigan football to host Illinois in 2016 at Waldo Stadium". MLive.com. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Donald Seelye Athletic Center - WMUBroncos.com—Official Web Site of Western Michigan Athletics". Wmubroncos.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d e http://www.mlive.com/broncos/index.ssf/2012/12/declining_attendance_at_wester.html
  16. ^ a b c http://www.mlive.com/broncos/index.ssf/2015/12/western_michigan_football_had.html
  17. ^ http://www.mhsaa.com/MHSAA_ARCHIVE/resources/library/fbflash95.pdf
  18. ^ Scott DeCamp (May 13, 2010). "Coaches, players filled with anticipation for inaugural KVA Football Classic - MLive.com". Highschoolsports.mlive.com. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]