Wildcat Stadium (University of New Hampshire)
Wildcat Stadium is an 11,015-seat open-air multi-purpose stadium in Durham, New Hampshire, on the campus of the University of New Hampshire (UNH). It is home to the New Hampshire Wildcats football, lacrosse and track and field varsity teams. The stadium, which runs west-northwest, consists of a FieldTurf playing surface surrounded by a 400-metre track. On either side of the track are aluminum stands (the larger home stands being on northeast side). The stadium lies just southwest of the Field House, which houses Lundholm Gym as well as Swazey Pool and the Jerry Azumah Performance Center.
|Former names||Lewis Field (1936–1951)|
Cowell Stadium (1952–2016)
|Location||145 Main Street|
Durham, New Hampshire 03824
|Owner||University of New Hampshire|
|Operator||University of New Hampshire|
|Broke ground||December 1933|
|Opened||September 26, 1936 (first game)|
October 10, 1936 (dedication)
|Construction cost||$25 million (expansion)|
|New Hampshire Wildcats (NCAA)|
The stadium is a part of the main athletics area of campus, south of Main Street and west of the railroad tracks. It replaced Memorial Field, which has since been remodeled for use by women's field hockey, and lies diagonally across Main Street beside the Whittemore Center. The track and field facility surrounding the field is named after Reggie F. Atkins, UNH class of 1928, a star student athlete who in later life donated the funds to start building the facility.
The stadium was dedicated on October 10, 1936, with a football rivalry game against the Maine Black Bears. The first football game played in the stadium was actually held two weeks earlier, on September 26, 1936, against Lowell Textile Institute (now University of Massachusetts Lowell). The university's athletic facilities were originally named Lewis Fields after former university president Edward M. Lewis, with the football stadium referred to as Lewis Stadium or simply Lewis Field. In 1952, the stadium was formally named Cowell Stadium in honor of former football coach and athletic director William H. "Butch" Cowell. The field itself is Mooradian Field, named in 1994 to honor Andy Mooradian, a longtime UNH professor, coach, and athletic director.
The stadium went through major renovations during the 2015 offseason. Plans called for a new seating section on the Eastern End Zone side, which included new restrooms, concession, and press box. It also called for restoration of the current Western End Zone seats, along with renaming the stadium.
The university was criticized for using $1 million for a video scoreboard in the stadium from a mostly unrestricted bequest of $4 million by Robert Morin, a former librarian at the university. One alumna stated, "The school's administrative decision to spend a quarter of Morin's generous donation on an inconsequential trinket for the athletic department is a complete disgrace to the spirit and memory of Robert Morin."
- "Guide to the History of Lewis Fields, 1936". University of New Hampshire. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Memorial Field Then". unh.edu. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- "Memorial Field Now". unh.edu. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- "Dedication Day At New Hampshire Spoiled By Maine". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. AP. October 11, 1936. p. 49. Retrieved November 29, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- "Lewis Field to be Dedicated on Oct. 10". The Portsmouth Herald. Portsmouth, New Hampshire. October 3, 1936. p. 2. Retrieved November 29, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- "UNH Football Field Is Cowell Stadium". The Burlington Free Press. Burlington, Vermont. AP. June 19, 1952. p. 21. Retrieved November 29, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- Burris, Joe (October 20, 1994). "Yankee Conference Notebook (column)". The Boston Globe. p. 74. Retrieved November 29, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- Guarino, Ben (September 16, 2016). "University to buy $1 million football scoreboard with thrifty librarian's money, outraging critics". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Seltzer, Rick. "The librarian's bequest". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- Cortese, Claire. "How the University of New Hampshire Chose to Waste an Alum's $4m Gift". Odyssey. Retrieved September 16, 2016.