Francis G. Welch Stadium

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Francis G. Welch Stadium
Welch Stadium
Welch Stadium, 2016.png
Location Emporia, Kansas
Owner Emporia State University
Operator Emporia State University
Capacity 7,000
Surface RamTurf
Opened 1937
Emporia State football
Emporia High School football

Francis G. Welch Stadium, also known as Jones Field at Welch Stadium or Welch Stadium, is a sport stadium in Emporia, Kansas. The facility is primarily used by the Emporia State University football and track & field teams and Emporia High School football. It is named to honor long-time Emporia State coach and athletic director Fran Welch.[1] The facility was one of the first on the NCAA Division II level to offer enclosed skyboxes and is still one of only a few across the nation.[2]

Stadium history[edit]

The first football game at Welch Stadium came on Armistice Day in 1937. The Hornets tied St. Benedict's College by a score of 20-20. More than 6,000 fans saw the first game in the facility. The largest crowd on record for a football game was the 1973 game against Northern Colorado. The record crowd of 10,000 saw the Hornets to a 10-0 victory as the Hornets vaulted to a No. 3 ranking in the NAIA.[2]

Top crowds at Welch Stadium[edit]

Highest attendance at Welch Stadium
Rank Attendance Date Game result
1 10,000 1973 Emporia State 10, Northern Colorado 0
2 9,200 1998 Emporia State 38, Pittsburg State 28
3 9,000 1969 Emporia State 34, Pittsburg State 21
4 8,064 1987 Emporia State 9, Pittsburg State 35
5 8,000 1926 Emporia State 6, College of Emporia 0
6 7,640 1992 Emporia State 38, Pittsburg State 49
7 7,305 2000 Emporia State 10, Fort Hays State 16
T-8 7,000 1979 Emporia State 4, Missouri Western 31
T-8 7,000 1980 Emporia State 7, Missouri Western 14
Source: Emporia State Hornets Football Oct. 31, 2015 Game Notes

Other uses[edit]

The stadium is used by the local high school for games, college and community events, Special Olympics and other sporting events. The stadium currently hosts the Kansas State High School Activities Association Class 5A state championship game, Emporia High School Football games and the Kansas Shrine Bowl all-star game every four years (the site currently rotates between Emporia, Pittsburg, Manhattan, and Hays).

Welch Stadium served three times as the site for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.[3]


  1. ^ "Emporia State University". Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  2. ^ a b Emporia State University Athletics Facilities Guide, Welch Stadium
  3. ^ The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, "Witten Track/Welch Stadium to host event for third time"

Coordinates: 38°25′01″N 96°10′47″W / 38.417015°N 96.179642°W / 38.417015; -96.179642