Washington–Grizzly Stadium

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Washington–Grizzly Stadium
193715408 ad0ddb42bc t Washington grizzly stadium.jpg
Washington–Grizzly Stadium in June 2006
Location Campus Drive
Missoula, Montana, U.S.
Coordinates 46°51′50″N 113°58′52″W / 46.864°N 113.981°W / 46.864; -113.981Coordinates: 46°51′50″N 113°58′52″W / 46.864°N 113.981°W / 46.864; -113.981
Owner University of Montana
Operator University of Montana
Capacity 25,217 (2008–present)
23,183 (2003–2007)
19,005 (2002)
18,845 (1995–2001)
12,500 (1986–1994)
Record attendance 26,352 - (November 22, 2014)
Surface FieldTurf - (2016-present)
SprinTurf - (2001-2016)
Natural grass - (1986-2000)
Construction
Broke ground September 1985
Opened October 18, 1986; 30 years ago (1986-10-18)
Construction cost $3.2 million[1]
($6.99 million in 2017 dollars[2])
Architect Fox, Ballas & Barrow[1]
Rossman, Schneider & Gadvery[1]
Tenants

Montana Grizzlies - NCAA
(1986-present)

Missoula County Public Schools

Washington–Grizzly Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium in Missoula, Montana, located on the campus of the University of Montana. Opened in 1986, it is home to the Montana Grizzlies college football team, a dominant program of the Big Sky Conference and consistently a top team in Division I FCS, formerly known as Division I-AA. The infilled SprinTurf playing field is 20 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 football season.[4] It is the largest all-purpose stadium in the state of Montana.

History[edit]

The stadium is named after construction magnate Dennis Washington, a Montanan who donated $1 million to finance the stadium's construction in 1985. The stadium opened on October 18, 1986, and the Griz have racked up an impressive home record of 142-20 (.877).

Capacity and expansions[edit]

The current seating capacity is 25,217 and the stadium 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 on August 25th, 2015 when ESPN and 4-Time defending National Champion North Dakota State opened the 2015 FCS season drawing 26,472 people, breaking the old record of 26,352 set in 2014 against Montana State.

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 15 seasons of "SprinTurf", The playing surface in WGS was replaced with multi-color "FieldTurf" in the summer of 2016. After Grizzly Field (Softball) installed "FieldTurf" in their new stadium, "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 is one of the largest screens in an FCS football stadium. In 2016 GrizVision was upgraded to a much larger screen.

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

WA-Griz largest crowds[edit]

Looking southwest in 2010, against NAU on October 23
Washington–Grizzly stadium attendance records
Official stadium capacity: 25,203
Attendance Result Date
1 26,472 Montana 38, North Dakota State 35 Aug. 29, 2015
2 26,352 Montana 34, Montana State 7 Nov. 22, 2014
3 26,303 Montana 28, South Dakota 20 Sept. 13, 2014
4 26,293 Montana 30, Appalachian State 6 Aug. 31, 2013
5 26,136 Montana 23, Northern Arizona 14 Sept. 26, 2015
6 26,082 Montana 37, Eastern Washington 42 Oct. 26, 2013
7 26,066 Montana 17, Eastern Washington 14 Sept. 17, 2011
8 26,065 Montana 19, Cal Poly 20 Sept. 5, 2015
9 26,019 Montana 16, Montana State 21 Nov. 20, 2010
10 25,965 Montana 28, Sacramento State 25 Sept. 25, 2010

Football record[edit]

The stadium 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
Total 189-26 (.879)
^Includes FCS Playoff Game(s)

Concerts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "New UM Stadium Project on Schedule". Great Falls Tribune. August 6, 1986. p. 3C. 
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ Topographic map & aerial photo from USGS via Microsoft Research Maps
  4. ^ http://www.montanakaimin.com/mobile/sports/lighting-up-washington-grizzly-stadium-1.2690020
  5. ^ iorr.org/tour05/missoula.htm - Retrieved October 27, 2011

External links[edit]