War Memorial Stadium (Wyoming)

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War Memorial Stadium
War Memorial Stadium.JPG
Looking west in August 2015
Full name Jonah Field at
War Memorial Stadium
Former names Corbett Field
Location E Grand Ave
& N 22nd St
Laramie, Wyoming
Coordinates 41°18′43″N 105°34′05″W / 41.312°N 105.568°W / 41.312; -105.568Coordinates: 41°18′43″N 105°34′05″W / 41.312°N 105.568°W / 41.312; -105.568
Owner University of Wyoming
Operator University of Wyoming
Capacity 29,181
Record attendance 34,745
(vs. Colorado State, 1997)
Surface FieldTurf (2013–present)
Desso turf (2005–2012)
Natural grass (1950–2004)
Construction
Broke ground August 15, 1949 (grounds)
March 1, 1950 (building)
Opened September 16, 1950
67 years ago
Renovated 2004, 2010
Expanded 1970, 1977
Construction cost $1,533,333 (combined with Fieldhouse),
(2009-2010 upgrades) $50,000,000+
Architect Porter & Bradley
General contractor The Spiegelberg Lumber and Building Company
Tenants
Wyoming Cowboys (NCAA) (1950–present)
Laramie is located in the US
Laramie
Laramie
Location in the United States

Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium is an outdoor football stadium on the campus of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. It is the home field of the Wyoming Cowboys of the Mountain West Conference.

It is the highest Division I FBS college football stadium in the nation; the playing field sits at a lofty elevation of 7,215 feet (2,199 m) above sea level.[1] The next highest Division I stadiums are Walkup Skydome at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff at just under 6,900 feet (2,100 m), and Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy, sitting at 6,621 feet (2,018 m) in Colorado Springs, respectively. (The highest stadium in all of college football is Mountaineer Bowl at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison at 7,769 feet (2,368 m).)

History[edit]

Along with the War Memorial Fieldhouse, War Memorial Stadium was built 67 years ago in the spring and summer of 1950. The stadium replaced Corbett Field, a small field opened in 1922 and located southeast of Half Acre Gym in land now used by the Business School and the student union parking lot.

It originally sat 20,000 in grandstands on the east and west sides of the field. In 1970, the western upper deck, containing 5,500 seats and a new press box, was added and in 1978 the eastern press box and northern bleachers were added, bringing capacity up to 33,500.[2] The playing field runs mostly in the traditional north-south configuration; it is slightly skewed to the northeast and southwest about 10°.

Below the new north end zone scoreboard is a 5 ft 2 in (1.6 m) statue Cowboy Tough by Chris Navarro. Fanning a Twister, located to the north of the stadium at the main entrance to the athletic complex, is modeled after a photo of Guy Holt riding Steamboat, the 1909 winner of "Worst Horse" at Frontier Park in Cheyenne.[3] In the 1920s, an equipment manager named Deane Hunton found the picture. Thinking it embodied the spirit of the athletics program and the cowboy life, he stenciled an outline of the photograph, which became the iconic logo of the university (also found on Wyoming license plates since 1936 and many other places around the state).[4][5]

Renovations[edit]

In 2001, a new video scoreboard was added and the bleachers in the north end zone were moved to the south end zone. In 2004, the western stands were refurbished and the press box expanded. In 2005, the natural grass at War Memorial Stadium was replaced by infilled artificial turf, similar to FieldTurf. The new surface, known as "Desso Challenge Pro 60 Monofilament Synthetic Turf," was the first of its kind in Division I-A football.[6] It was replaced in 2013 by FieldTurf with enhanced graphics.[7][8] The field itself was renamed "Jonah Field" in honor of the Wyoming gas fields owned by the primary benefactors of the turf project, the Martin and McMurry families.

Capacity was reduced in 2004 to 32,580 and in 2007 to 30,514.[9][10] Before the 2010 season, the new Wildcatter Stadium Club and Suites opened and capacity was further reduced to 29,181. The Wildcatter features 12 individual suites along with a stadium-club area that contains 256 indoor seats.[11]

Other uses[edit]

In addition to UW home games, the stadium also hosted the WHSAA State Football Championships in 2009, 2010, and in 2011.[12][13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Topographic map - UW campus from USGS The National Map
  2. ^ http://www.wyomingathletics.com/trads/50-facts.html
  3. ^ Art Inventories Catalog: "Fanning a Twister"
  4. ^ MacCambridge, Michael, ed. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. New York: Hyperion Books, 2005. Pg. 1026.
  5. ^ 2006 Wyoming Cowboys Football Media Guide, pgs. 6-18.
  6. ^ Wyoming Athletics.com - 2005 turf project - 2005-04-22
  7. ^ "New FieldTurf installation completed on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium". University of Wyoming Athletics. June 27, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ Huston, Chirs (May 7, 2013). "Wyoming's new field turf depicts mountains in both end zones". CBS Sports.com. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ Michael C. Lewis (November 11, 2004). "Utah's punt block attempt irritates Lubick, Rams". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  10. ^ "UW-Virginia game a sellout". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. August 31, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  11. ^ University of Wyoming Official Athletic Site, Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium
  12. ^ Casper Star Tribune, WHSAA opens football championships to bid
  13. ^ Casper Star Tribune, WHSAA moves '09 football finals to Laramie

External links[edit]