Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field
The storied history of Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field combines the best of old and new. Opened in 1926, the stadium has seen tremendous growth throughout the years, but Tiger fans are proud of the traditional feel and atmosphere the stadium lends itself to on game day.
Fans will see many changes for 2014 with the new East Side Tower addition, a $45.5 million project to bring more than 4,000 upper deck seats and more than 1,200 premium seats to Memorial Stadium. An expanded concourse and enhanced restroom and concession areas were also implemented. Brand-new lighting was installed to continue to enhance the fan experience at Faurot Field.
Memorial Stadium’s east side joined the recently renovated west press box/luxury suite tower, which received its facelift ahead of the 2013 season. Change also came to the historical hill beyond the north end zone.
The hill was moved closer to the field over the summer to allow for an expansion of the north concourse area – -providing much more space for fans to congregate during games. The historic Rock M was broken down and stored away safely during the summer and brought back to be reconstructed with the same rocks to maintain the important historical landmark that Tiger fans have grown to love.
Prior to the 2012 season, a sparkling brand-new FieldTurf field was installed on Faurot Field, to commemorate Mizzou’s first year in the Southeastern Conference, as well as to reflect a new graphic identity partnership with Nike. The fresh FieldTurf replaced the previous 2003 installation of the surface. FieldTurf provides the reliability and consistency of artificial surfaces, but is head and shoulders above all other projects in terms of offering the look and feel, and safety of natural grass.
The stadium, built at a cost of $350,000, was the product of Coach Gwinn Henry’s championship seasons of 1924-25, and a vision of athletic director Chester L. Brewer. It was carved out of “a sizeable natural valley that lay between twin bluffs south of the University,” chronicled Bob Broeg, longtime sports editor of the St. Louis Post-dispatch, and unofficial historian of Missouri football.
Crowds in excess of 75,000 have seen the Tigers play in Columbia, first against Texas in 1979, and a record 75,298 against Penn State in 1980.
Mizzou’s average attendance for seven home games in 2012 was a stout 67,476, which was the highest season average since 1980, and which ranked Mizzou 24th in the NCAA in average attendance.
Coach Don Faurot’s powerhouse Split “T” teams in the late ‘30’s and ‘40’s helped pay off the stadium bonds along with Faurot’s brave scheduling of Ohio State for nine straight years at Columbus, and big paydays from games with NYU and Fordham back east.
Peak attendance in the Tigers’ single-tiered football arena was 30,832, who crammed into temporary bleachers and sat on the hillside to watch Faurot’s team upset SMU, 20-14 in 1948.
A year later, the stadium underwent its first facelift with the addition of sections in the center of the west side, boosting the number of rows from 40 to 78. Those piece-meal additions continued sporadically until the summer of 1965, when the final two sections on the southeast corner were completed in the two-tired horseshoe.
The playing field adopted a new name in 1972 – Faurot Field - in honor of the legendary Mizzou football coach and athletic director whose teams and administrative leadership helped mightily to pay off the mortgage. As a matter of fact, Faurot a graduate student in 1926, helped lay the stadium’s sod. He made one last symbolic contribution to the field, dropping in the last square of turf in June 1995, when Mizzou converted its previous artificial surface to natural grass.
The traditional block “M,” carved from stone by the freshman class in 1927, guards the stadium’s north endzone and gives Memorial Stadium one of the more unique landmarks around the country.
In 1957, a group of pranksters changed the “M” to an “N” the night before the Missouri-Nebraska game. But, the Mizzou groundskeeper, with the help of some young boys who gained free admission to the game in exchange for their assistance, restored the “M” to his proper form before kickoff.
In 1995, Mizzou converted Faurot Field from an artificial surface known as OmniTurf (which graced the field from 1985-1994) to natural grass. The field was not the only cosmetic change made to Faurot Field in 1995. Grass-covered terraces now extend upwards from field level to the grandstands, where they meet a brick wall that adds a traditional collegiate ambiance to the stadium.
Over the last 25 years, upgrades to the stadium’s superstructure have been made, giving the natural bowl the tender loving care it needs to remain as the home of the Tigers for many years to come. In 1991, all of the stadium’s old cypress bleachers were replaced with aluminum.
On gamedays, the Tigers enjoy a spacious lock room. Tucked beneath the south stands is the facility which includes large and comfortable dressing quarters for players and coaches, state-of-the-art medical facilities including X-ray equipment, and a large interview room which enables more than 50 reporters to comfortably execute their post-game duties.
- Record: 271-173-20 (88 seasons, .606)
- Most Consecutive Winning Seasons: 6, 1938-43
- Most Games, Season: 7, 1956 (3-3-1), 1981 (5-2), 1983 (5-2), 1985 (0-7), 1987 (4-3), 2006 (6-1), 2012 (3-4), 2013 (6-1)
- Most Wins, Season: 6, 2003 (6-0), 2006 (6-1), 2007 (6-0), 2010 (6-0), 2013 (6-1)
- Most Losses, Season: 7, 1985 (0-7)
- Most Consecutive Wins: 20, 1938-43
- Longest Unbeaten Streak: 20, 1938-43
- Most Consecutive Losses: 8, 1984-85
- Undefeated Seasons: 15, 1926 (3-0-2), 1927 (3-0), 1936 (4-0), 1939 (4-0), 1940 (4-0), 1941 (4-0), 1942 (4-0), 1945 (3-0), 1948 (4-0), 1960 (5-0), 1962 (4-0-1), 1969 (5-0), 1974 (5-0), 1982 (5-0-1), 2003 (6-0), 2007 (6-0), 2010 (6-0)
- Winless Seasons: 5, 1932 (0-3-1), 1934 (0-4), 1955 (0-5), 1985 (0-7), 1994 (0-6)
- Record on Natural Grass (1926-84, 95-2002): 198-119-17 (.618)
- Record on Omniturf (1985-94): 20-38-3 (.352)
- Record on FieldTurf (2003-Present): 53-16 (.768)
|1.||75,298||Penn State||Oct. 4, 1980|
|2.||75,136||Texas||Sept. 29, 1979|
|3.||74,575||Nebraska||Nov. 3, 1979|
|4.||73,655||Alabama||Sept. 16, 1978|
|5.||72,348||Nebraska||Oct. 15, 1983|
|6.||72,333||Colorado||Oct. 18, 1980|
|7.||72,001||Nebraska||Oct. 24, 1981|
|8.||71,291||Oklahoma||Nov. 17, 1979|
|9.||71,096||Colorado||Oct. 28, 1978|
|10.||71,004||6x, most rec.||Oct. 13, 2012|
|1.||71,168||Arkansas||Nov. 28, 2014|
|71,168||Georgia||Oct. 11, 2014|
|3.||71,004||Alabama||Oct. 13, 2012|
|71,004||Arizona State||Sept. 15, 2012|
|71,004||Georgia||Sept. 8, 2012|
|71,004||Iowa State||Oct. 15, 2011|
|71,004||Oklahoma||Oct. 23, 2010|
|71,004||Texas||Oct. 24, 2009|
|9.||70,049||Nebraska||Oct. 6, 2007|
|10.||68,349||Kansas State||Nov. 8, 2008|
|68,349||Colorado||Oct. 25, 2008|
|68,349||Oklahoma State||Oct. 11, 2008|
|68,349||Nebraska||Oct. 11, 2003|
|1.||104,756||at Texas A&M||Nov. 15, 2014|
|2.||104,578||at Michigan||Oct. 4, 1975|
|3.||98,383||at Texas||Oct. 18, 2008|
|4.||95,821||at Tennessee||Nov. 22, 2014|
|5.||93,269||at Ohio State||Sept. 19, 1998|
|6.||92,746||at Georgia||Oct. 12, 2013|
|7.||90,496||at Florida||Nov. 3, 2012|
|8.||89,272||at Tennessee||Nov. 10, 2012|
|9.||89,117||at Florida||Oct. 18, 2014|
|10.||87,936||at Ohio State||Sept. 25, 1976|
|* - Note: The current seating capacity was lowered to 68,349 in 1995, raised to 71,004 in 2009, and after a temporary lowering to 67,124 for construction in 2013, raised again to 71,168 in 2014.|
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