Charles C. Hughes Stadium

Charles C. Hughes Stadium (commonly referred to as Hughes Stadium) is an outdoor stadium in the Western United States, located at Sacramento City College in Sacramento, California. The stadium opened in 1928 and was initially known as Sacramento Stadium and Sacramento College Stadium.[2] It was renamed in November 1944 in honor of Charles Colfax Hughes, the first superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District, who died a month earlier.[3][4]

Hughes Stadium
Charles C Hughes Stadium.jpg
Hughes Stadium in April 2014
Former namesSacramento Stadium (1928–1944)
LocationSacramento, California, U.S.
Coordinates38°32′28″N 121°29′11″W / 38.541°N 121.48652°W / 38.541; -121.48652Coordinates: 38°32′28″N 121°29′11″W / 38.541°N 121.48652°W / 38.541; -121.48652
SurfaceNatural grass (1928–2012)
Artificial turf (2012–present)
Opened1928; 95 years ago (1928)
Cal Aggies football (1928–1931)
Sacramento State Hornets football (1954–1968)
Sacramento City College
Various regional high schools
Sacramento Republic FC (January–June 2014)
Sacramento is located in the United States
Sacramento is located in California
Hughes Stadium in 2007, prior to renovation

In 2012, the stadium underwent a major overhaul, installing an artificial turf field surface, a new track surface, and a major refurbishment of the facilities documented in this video. Its present seating capacity is 20,311.


Hughes Stadium is located on the eastern portion of the Sacramento City College campus. The Union Pacific (ex Western Pacific) railroad tracks are to the east and Sutterville Road is to the south; its bridge over the tracks is visible from the western seats. The City College station of Sacramento Regional Transit District's Blue Line is to the northeast, and the stadium's parking lots are to the northwest and northeast.

The football field has a near north-south alignment, but slightly northwest-southeast. The open end of the U-shaped grandstand is to the south, with the scoreboard. The elevation of the field is approximately twenty feet (6 m) above sea level.

Events and teams hostedEdit


Sacramento SurgeEdit

Former NFL Europe football team the Sacramento Surge, the only American team to ever win the World Bowl, played its inaugural season at Hughes Stadium in 1991, before relocating to Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State University campus in 1992.[5] The Sacramento Surge played five home games at Hughes Stadium, with ticket prices ranging from $40 to $100.[6]

The Sacramento Surge, which played in the World League of American Football (WLAF) in 1991 and 1992, featured many notable football stars. The team was coached by Kay Stephenson,[7] former Buffalo Bills quarterback and head coach, with Charlie Sumner as the defensive coordinator and Jim Haslett as the defensive assistant coach. Mike Keller served as General Manager,[8] while Special Projects was led by Jack Youngblood, who also partnered with Joe Starkey and Ronnie Lott on the Surge radio broadcasts KRAK. Future professional wrestler Bill Goldberg also played for the team.[5]

In 1992, the Surge played in the World Bowl. The Surge won the game, 21–17, behind quarterback David Archer's MVP performance (22 completions of 33 attempts for 286 yards, two touchdowns and one interception). The game would be the only World Bowl involving two North American-based WLAF teams, as well as the only World Bowl played on North American soil.

The Surge was owned by Fred Anderson, who, upon the WLAF going on hiatus after the 1992 season, continued Sacramento's professional football presence by forming the Sacramento Gold Miners, which played in the Canadian Football League for three years, albeit at Hornet Stadium.

Camellia BowlEdit

Hughes Stadium hosted sixteen college football bowl games known as the Camellia Bowl between 1961 and 1980. The first three games were for the NAIA national football championship. The 1964–72 games were one of four regional bowls that led up to a poll to determine the NCAA College Division championship, prior to the current Division II playoff structure, initiated in 1973. It was also the site of the third Division I-AA championship game in 1980, in which Boise State defeated defending champion Eastern Kentucky with a late touchdown in the fog on December 20.[9][10]

Sacramento CapitolsEdit

The Sacramento Capitols of the Continental Football League used Hughes Stadium as their home field in 1968 and 1969, before the league folded.[11]

Causeway ClassicEdit

Though Sacramento State and UC Davis traditionally switched stadiums for the annual Causeway Classic football game, Hughes Stadium was used as a third-party venue for several games in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and last in 2002. It was the host of the famous "mud bowl" in 2000, where wind and rain was so strong that a UC Davis punt actually flew backwards during the game.

Pig BowlEdit

For many years the "Pig Bowl" was played at Hughes Stadium, an annual football game between police officers. The teams were composed of the Sacramento City Police Officers and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputies, and these games were mostly played in the 1970s.

Sacramento Mountain LionsEdit

During the 2012 season, the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League used Hughes Stadium as their practice facility.[12]

Sacramento SolonsEdit

The Sacramento Solons, a Triple-A Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers played three seasons in Hughes Stadium from 1974 to 1976. In 1976, the Solons' affiliation changed to the Texas Rangers. As a football and track stadium, the field was expectedly unsuitable for baseball, with a left field foul line reportedly at just 233 feet (71 m), or 17 feet shorter than the minimum requirement of 250 feet (76 m), but baseballs hit over the high screen were still counted as home runs. This photo, though somewhat exaggerated due to the zoom lens, provides a sense of the closeness of the left field area.

Track and field championshipsEdit

Hughes Stadium was the site of the AAU National Championships in 1968; on the evening of June 20, Jim Hines, Ronnie Ray Smith, and Charlie Greene all bettered the world record (hand timed) of ten seconds in the 100 metres (and several others were very close),[13][14][15] and is famous amongst track and field historians as the "Night of Speed."[16][17][18] It was also host to the 1995 NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championships as well as several other championship events. The stadium was the host of most long distance races at the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships .[19]

Hughes Stadium was one of the regular sites that would host the California Interscholastic Federation State Track and Field Championships on a rotational basis. The meet was held on ten different occasions from 1979 to 2007. (1979, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007) [20]


On September 9, 1978, Pete Ranzany fought for the world (WBA) welterweight title against champion José "Pipino" Cuevas. A crowd of over 17,000 saw Cuevas knock out Ranzany in the second round.[21]

Motor racingEdit

Hughes Stadium's track has been used for Midget car racing.[1] Hughes Stadium's track has been used for Speedway Motorcycle Races 1957/58

Sacramento Republic FCEdit

The expansion USL Pro soccer club Sacramento Republic FC played the first few home games of 2014 at Hughes Stadium, where their per-game attendance dwarfed that of the rest of the league, and where they recorded three sellouts.[22] The team left Hughes in June 2014 for Bonney Field, a newly built facility in Cal Expo with a full-sized soccer field and lower capacity.


Sacramento Pop FestivalEdit

The Sacramento Pop Festival was held at Hughes in 1967 on Sunday, October 15, headlined by Jefferson Airplane, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Strawberry Alarm Clock, and The Sunshine Company.[23] It was held four months after the Monterey Pop Festival.

Pink FloydEdit

In 1988, Hughes Stadium was the venue for Pink Floyd during their Momentary Lapse of Reason tour, with a sold-out crowd of 27,000 on April 20.

Largest crowd in Sacramento historyEdit

On August 16, 1981, Hughes Stadium set the all-time attendance record for a concert in Sacramento, when more than 42,000 fans attended the "Rockin' the Capital" concert. The Doobie Brothers headlined the concert and were joined by Carlos Santana, Rick Springfield, and Gamma.[24]


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2013-01-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Colleges To Compete in Sacramento Stadium". The Sutter Independent. Yuba City, California. November 8, 1928. p. 5. Retrieved April 30, 2022 – via  .
  3. ^ "College Stadium Is Named For Charles C. Hughes". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. October 19, 1928. p. 28. Retrieved April 30, 2022 – via  .
  4. ^ "Sacramento City Unified School District". Archived from the original on September 18, 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Sacramento Surge History". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  6. ^ "Sacramento Surge Hopes To Electrify". Lodi News-Sentinel. December 5, 1990.
  7. ^ "Surge Begins WLAF Action". Lodi News-Sentinel. March 14, 1992.
  8. ^ "Surge Begins WLAF Action". Lodi News-Sentinel. March 14, 1992.
  9. ^ "Broncos squeak by Colonels, take title". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). December 21, 1980. p. B2.
  10. ^ "Boise gets title". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. December 22, 1980. p. 28.
  11. ^ Crossley, Drew (13 November 2016). "1968–1969 Sacramento Capitols". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  12. ^ Mountain Lions begin season with morning practice[permanent dead link]. KTXL. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  13. ^ "Trio crack world mark in century". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. June 21, 1968. p. 2B.
  14. ^ "Hines, Greene, Smith set 100 meter record of 9.9". Lodi News-Sentinel. (California). UPI. June 21, 1968. p. 9.
  15. ^ Underwood, John (July 1, 1968). "Some old boys make a stand". Sports Illustrated: 32.
  16. ^ "Olympics - The Night of Speed - Signed print - An Affordable Gift or Investment XXX - Out of Stock - XXX".
  17. ^ "Track & Field News • View topic - 100 m of 1968 AAU championship". Archived from the original on 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  18. ^ "'Night of Speed' and other tales from Sacramento's rich track history". Sacramento Sports Commission. April 15, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  19. ^ "United States Olympic Committee - Sacramento awarded 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships". Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  20. ^ "California Interscholastic Federation" (PDF).
  21. ^ "Mexico's Cuevas KO's Ranzany in 2nd round". Lodi News-Sentinel. (California). UPI. September 11, 1978. p. 13.
  22. ^ "Republic FC Set To Face Arizona: Sellout crowd set for final game at Hughes Stadium". United Soccer Leagues. 6 June 2014. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  23. ^ "Sacramento Pop Festival". 188 Classic Rock Over-Blog. October 15, 1967. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  24. ^[bare URL]
Preceded by Host of the NCAA Division I-AA National Championship Game
Succeeded by