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Drake Stadium (Drake University)

Drake Stadium is a stadium on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. Best known as the home of the Drake Relays, it also serves as the home field of the university's football team. It opened in 1925.

Drake Stadium
"The Blue Oval"
US Navy 110429-N-0000W-312 Members of the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs, perform above Drake Stadium during the opening ce.jpg
Location2719 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa, 50311 United States
Coordinates41°36′18″N 93°39′18″W / 41.60500°N 93.65500°W / 41.60500; -93.65500Coordinates: 41°36′18″N 93°39′18″W / 41.60500°N 93.65500°W / 41.60500; -93.65500
OwnerDrake University
OperatorDrake University
Capacity14,557 (2006–present)
18,000 (1925–2005)
SurfaceFieldTurf
Construction
Broke ground1925
OpenedOctober 10, 1925[3]
Renovated2005
Construction cost$15 million (2005 renovation)[1]
ArchitectRDG Planning & Design (2005 renovation)[2]
Tenants
Drake Bulldogs football (NCAA) (1925–present)
Drake Relays (1926–present)
Des Moines Menace (USL2) (2019–present)

HistoryEdit

Drake Stadium opened on October 10, 1925, as the Bulldogs defeated Kansas.

Drake Stadium has seen the Bulldogs win thirteen conference championships in football, while advancing to five college football bowl games. The stadium is also the home field for nearby Des Moines Roosevelt High School and occasional home games for Dowling High School. It is currently the largest stadium in the Pioneer Football League.

Drake Stadium is also the home to the Drake Relays, one of the premier track and field meets in the country. Thousands of high school, college, and professional track athletes come to Drake Stadium in late April to compete in one of the largest track meets in the United States. The prominence of the Relays has led to Drake hosting various other national and regional professional, collegiate, and youth meets. Fourteen world records have been set at the Relays.

The stadium also hosts the Iowa boys and girls high school track state championships.

It also serves as a secondary venue for the university's men's and women's soccer teams. In 2019, the Des Moines Menace, a local USL League Two soccer club, played its home schedule at the stadium.[4]

RenovationsEdit

The football field at Drake Stadium is named in honor of Drake alumnus and football great Johnny Bright. The track is named after famed announcer Jim Duncan.[5]

The installation of a $175,000 tartan track in 1969 replaced the cinder track. It was a magnificent 60th birthday present for Drake Relays competitors and fans. In 1976, all individual events at the Drake Relays went metric; in 1978, the conversion was completed with rebuilding of the track into a 400-meter oval so that relay races, too, could go metric. The Jim Duncan Track was resurfaced in the summer of 1989 in Drake blue school colors, featuring a combination of polyurethane coating and EPDM rubber granules. Since this installation, track and field athletes and fans frequently refer to the venue as the "Blue Oval".[6][7]

The 2005–2006 renovation project improved many aspects of the stadium. The surface area of the stadium was flattened (previously the infield sat several feet lower than the track surface). It created a reconfigured track to meet NCAA and international standards, improved seating, and added a "safety lane" on the outside of the track for athletes (in the old configuration, fans could easily make contact with a competitor in lane 8). In addition, a new scoreboard with video screen was placed at the northeast corner of the stadium. Widening the track reduced the stadium's seating capacity from 18,000 to 14,557.[8] As a result, throwing events were moved to an area north of the stadium.

The Bulldogs played their 2005 home games at Waukee High School's Warrior Stadium due to renovations at the stadium.

In the summer of 2016, the field and track were resurfaced.[9] New turf was installed and the track surface was replaced using the same material used at the Beijing and London Summer Olympics.

Notable eventsEdit

Drake Stadium has hosted the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships on four occasions:

  • 1970 (men's only)
  • 2008 (men's and women's)
  • 2011 (men's and women's)
  • 2012 (men's and women's)

The 2008 championships doubled the previous four-day record crowd with a total attendance of 41,187 (including over 11,000 for the final day) despite heavy flooding in Des Moines.

Drake Stadium has also hosted the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships four times:[10]

Additionally, the facility has hosted the AAU Junior Olympic Games four times.

Stadium recordsEdit

MenEdit

Event Record Athlete Nationality Meet
100 m 9.88 Noah Lyles   United States 2018 USA Outdoor Championships
200 m 19.78 Noah Lyles   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
400 m 43.64 Fred Kerley   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
800 m 1:43.27 Duane Solomon   United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
1500 m 3:38.27 Steve Scott   United States 1984 Drake Relays
Mile 3:51.71 Alan Webb   United States 2007 Drake Relays
5000 m 13:25.53 Lopez Lomong   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
10000 m 27:30.06 Lopez Lomong   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
110 m hurdles 12.93 David Oliver   United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
400 m hurdles 47.32 Bershawn Jackson   United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
3000 m steeplechase 8:18.05 Hillary Bor   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
High jump 2.40 m (7 ft 10 14 in) Derek Drouin   Canada 2014 Drake Relays
Pole vault 6.06 m (19 ft 10 12 in) AR Sam Kendricks   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
Long jump 8.40 m (27 ft 6 12 in) Ngonidzashe Makusha   Zimbabwe 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships
Triple jump 17.74 m (58 ft 2 14 in) Donald Scott   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
Shot put 22.62 m (74 ft 2 12 in) Ryan Crouser   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
Discus throw 68.61 m (225 ft 1 in) Reggie Jagers   United States 2018 USA Outdoor Championships
Hammer Throw 78.14 m (256 ft 4 14 in) Conor McCullough   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
Javelin throw 83.50 m (273 ft 11 14 in) Riley Dolezal   United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
Decathlon 8295 pts Devon Williams   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships

WomenEdit

Event Record Athlete Nationality Meet
100 m 10.85 English Gardner
Barbara Pierre
  United States
  United States
2013 USA Outdoor Championships
200 m 22.19 Kimberlyn Duncan   United States 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships
400 m 49.52 Shakima Wimbley   United States 2018 USA Outdoor Championships
800 m 1:57.72 Ajee Wilson   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
1500 m 4:03.18 Shelby Houlihan   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
Mile 4:40.2 Francie Larrieu-Smith   United States 1975 Drake Relays
5000 m 15:15.08 Sally Kipyego   Kenya 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships
10000 m 31:43.20 Shalane Flanagan   United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
100 m hurdles 12.26 Brianna Rollins   United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
400 m hurdles 52.20 WR Dalilah Muhammad   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
3000 m steeplechase 9:17.70 Emma Coburn   United States 2018 USA Outdoor Championships
High jump 2.05 m (6 ft 8 12 in) AR Chaunte Lowe   United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
Pole vault 4.89 m (16 ft 12 in) Jenn Suhr   United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
Long jump 7.00 m (22 ft 11 12 in) Brittney Reese   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
Triple jump 14.59 m (47 ft 10 14 in) Keturah Orji   United States 2018 USA Outdoor Championships
Shot put 20.24 m (66 ft 4 34 in) Michelle Carter   United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
Discus throw 65.13 m (213 ft 8 in) Gia Lewis-Smallwood   United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
Hammer throw 78.24 m (256 ft 8 14 in) AR DeAnna Price   United States 2019 USA Outdoor Championships
Javelin throw 66.67 m (218 ft 8 34 in) AR Kara Patterson   United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
Heptathlon 6735 pts Hyleas Fountain   United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.godrakebulldogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=15700&ATCLID=1137066
  2. ^ http://www.rdgusa.com/projects/drake-stadium-renovation-phase-i
  3. ^ http://www.godrakebulldogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=15700&ATCLID=1137066
  4. ^ http://www.menacesoccer.com/news/index.html?article_id=1052
  5. ^ http://drakeapedia.drake.wikispaces.net/Jim+Duncan
  6. ^ http://www.dailynebraskan.com/sports/track-and-field-to-challenge-drake-university-relays-on-blue/article_cc8bfb9e-ea2d-11e4-b121-9357df26c6db.html
  7. ^ https://mutigers.com/news/2019/4/24/mens-track-and-field-miz-trackfield-heads-to-blue-oval-for-drake-relays.aspx
  8. ^ "Drake Stadium History - GoDrakeBulldogs.com—Official Web site of Drake University Athletics". Godrakebulldogs.com. 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  9. ^ http://godrakebulldogs.com/sports/2016/6/20/stadium-construction-update.aspx
  10. ^ http://www.runblogrun.com/2012/03/des-moines-to-host-2013-usa-outdoor-track-field-championships-release-note-by-larry-eder.html

External linksEdit