Washington–Grizzly Stadium

Coordinates: 46°51′50″N 113°58′52″W / 46.864°N 113.981°W / 46.864; -113.981
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Washington–Grizzly Stadium
Aerial view from northwest in 2019
Map
Missoula is located in the United States
Missoula
Missoula
Location in the United States
Missoula is located in Montana
Missoula
Missoula
Location in Montana
AddressCampus Drive
LocationUniversity of Montana
Missoula, Montana, U.S.
Coordinates46°51′50″N 113°58′52″W / 46.864°N 113.981°W / 46.864; -113.981
Elevation3,190 feet (970 m) AMSL
OwnerUniversity of Montana
OperatorUniversity of Montana
Capacity25,217 (2008–present)
23,183 (2003–2007)
19,005 (2002)
18,845 (1995–2001)
12,500 (1986–1994)
Record attendance27,178
(November 18, 2023)
SurfaceFieldTurf – (2016–present)
SprinTurf – (2001–2016)
Natural grass – (1986–2000)
Construction
Broke groundSeptember 1985
OpenedOctober 18, 1986;
37 years ago
 (1986-10-18)
Construction cost$3.2 million[1]
($8.54 million in 2022[2])
ArchitectFox, Ballas & Barrow[1]
Rossman, Schneider & Gadvery[1]
Tenants
Montana GrizzliesNCAA (1986–present)
Missoula County Public Schools

Washington–Grizzly Stadium is an outdoor college football stadium in the western United States, located on the campus of the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. Opened 38 years ago in 1986, it is home to the Montana Grizzlies, a member of the Big Sky Conference in Division I FCS (formerly Division I-AA).

Its infilled FieldTurf playing field is twenty feet (6 m) below ground level at an elevation of 3,190 feet (970 m) above sea level and runs in the traditional north–south orientation.[3] The press box is above the west sideline and lights were added for the 2012 season.[4]

With 25,217 seats, it is the largest all-purpose stadium in the state of Montana, and is the largest on-campus stadium in the Football Championship Subdivision that participates in the playoffs. The Yale Bulldogs' 61,446–seat Yale Bowl is the largest on-campus stadium in the FCS, but Ivy League members abstain from postseason play.[a]

History[edit]

The stadium is named after construction magnate Dennis Washington, born in Washington, who donated $1 million to finance the stadium's construction in 1985. The inaugural game came in mid-season in 1986 (October 18), and the Griz have a record of 233–35 (.869) at the venue, through the 2023 season. Montana has gone undefeated at home in twelve of those seasons; the Griz won all ten home games in 2004 and posted a 9–0 mark seven times (1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2023).

Capacity and expansions[edit]

The current seating capacity is 25,217 and it has been expanded three times, most recently in 2008 with an upper deck expansion of 2,000 seats on the east side.

The original capacity in 1986 was 12,500 permanent seats on the sidelines with open grass seating behind the end zones, an approximate capacity of 15,000, weather-permitting. Permanent seating for the end zones was installed in 1995, which brought the seating to 18,845. Corner seating in the north end zone opened in 2003 and the most recent expansion in 2008 to the east grandstand brought the capacity to 25,217.

A new attendance record was set in 2015 when ESPN and four-time defending national champion North Dakota State opened the FCS season on August 29 and drew 26,472. The previous record was 26,352, set in 2014 against rival Montana State on November 22; both games were Grizzly victories. The current attendance record of 27,178 was set at the 2023 Brawl of the Wild when the Grizzlies beat Montana State to win the Big Sky Conference.[5]

Field surface[edit]

Infilled SprinTurf was installed in 2001, and replaced in 2008. For its first fifteen seasons, the playing surface was natural grass; with the addition of the artificial turf in 2001, the playing surface was renamed "John Hoyt Field."

After fifteen seasons of SprinTurf, the playing surface was replaced with multi-color FieldTurf in the summer of 2016. Following the installation of FieldTurf in the new softball stadium (Grizzly Field), FieldTurf pitched the university with a new football field and within a month, it was approved by the board of regents and installed.

GrizVision[edit]

The video screen GrizVision, was installed in 2002 in the south end zone; at 26 by 36 feet (8 m × 11 m), it was one of the largest screens in an FCS football stadium and was upgraded in 2016 to a much larger screen: it features HD-quality video and measures 32 by 55 feet (10 m × 17 m), approximately twice the area of the old display.

Previous venues[edit]

Before Washington–Grizzly Stadium, the Grizzlies played off-campus at "new" Dornblaser Field from 1968–86. Prior to 1968, Montana played on-campus at "old" Dornblaser Field from 1920–67 (both named for Paul Dornblaser, football captain in 1912, killed in World War I). The old field was at the site of the Mansfield Library.

Prior to 1920, Montana played its home games at a field in downtown Missoula, near the former Missoulian newspaper building.

Largest attendance[edit]

Washington–Grizzly stadium attendance records
Official stadium capacity: 25,203
Attendance Result Date
1 27,178 Montana 37, Montana State 7 Nov. 18, 2023
2 26,978 Montana 17, Ferris State 10 Sept. 16, 2023
3 26,856 Montana 29, Montana State 10 Nov. 29, 2021
4 26, 678 Montana 28, Idaho State 20 Sep. 30, 2023
5 26,544 Montana 31, North Dakota State 29 Dec. 16, 2023
6 26,508 Montana 25, Montana State 29 Nov. 17, 2018
7 26,472 Montana 38, North Dakota State 35 Aug. 29, 2015
8 26,352 Montana 34, Montana State 7 Nov. 22, 2014
9 26,303 Montana 28, South Dakota 20 Sept. 13, 2014
10 26,293 Montana 30, Appalachian State 6 Aug. 31, 2013

Home records[edit]

Looking southwest in 2010,
against NAU on October 23
View from southwest corner in 2012,
after expansion and lights were added
Year Win Loss
Year W L
1986 2 1
1987 3 2
1988 6 0
1989^ 8 0
1990 4 2
1991 4 1
1992 5 1
1993^ 6 1
1994^ 9 0
1995^ 9 0
1996^ 9 0
1997 5 1
1998 5 1
1999^ 5 2
2000^ 8 1
2001^ 9 0
2002^ 7 1
2003^ 6 2
2004^ 10 0
2005^ 5 2
2006^ 8 1
2007^ 7 1
2008^ 9 0
2009^ 9 0
2010 5 1
2011 6 0
2012 3 3
2013^ 5 2
2014^ 7 0
2015^ 5 2
2016 5 1
2017 5 1
2018 3 3
2019 7 0
2020 2 0
2021 6 1
2022^ 6 1
2023^ 9 0
Total 233–35 (.869)
^Includes FCS Playoff Game(s)

Concerts[edit]

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
May 21, 1988 Smokey Robinson Rob Quist & Great Northern Library Benefit 1,700
June 20, 1998 Pearl Jam Goodness Yield Tour
October 4, 2006 The Rolling Stones Black Rebel Motorcycle Club A Bigger Bang Tour 22,000+ This is the band's first-ever concert in the state of Montana.[6]
August 5, 2014 Paul McCartney Out There 25,192 / 25,192 $3,775,111
August 13, 2018 Pearl Jam Pearl Jam 2018 Tour 23,262 / 23,690 $2,114,194
August 13, 2021 Guns N' Roses Mammoth WVH Guns N' Roses 2020 Tour TBA TBA
August 28, 2024 Pink Sheryl Crow
KidCutUp
The Script
P!NK: Summer Carnival


See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The FCS playoff participant Tennessee State Tigers football program plays its home games in the 69,143-seat Nissan Stadium, but it is not "on-campus" - the criteria applied here. The stadium was built by local government, primarily as the home field of the NFL's Tennessee Titans, some 4 miles (6.4 km) from the Tennessee State University campus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "New UM Stadium Project on Schedule". Great Falls Tribune. August 6, 1986. p. 3C.
  2. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  3. ^ "Microsoft Research – Emerging Technology, Computer, and Software Research". Microsoft Research. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  4. ^ Court Weston. "Lighting up Washington-Grizzly Stadium". Archived from the original on 2012-05-08.
  5. ^ "Griz dominate Cats for 19th Big Sky title". University of Montana Athletics. Retrieved 2023-12-17.
  6. ^ "The Rolling Stones Missoula 2006 show by IORR". iorr.org. Retrieved 2024-02-09.

External links[edit]