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Shotwell Stadium is a stadium in Abilene, Texas. It was built in 1959,[1] using Rice Stadium as a model.[2] It was initially named the Public Schools Stadium. The first game played in the Stadium was in the fall of 1959. Shortly after the first season, the stadium was renamed Shotwell Stadium, after the late P.E. “Pete” Shotwell, a longtime football coach at Abilene High School.[3]

Shotwell Stadium
Former namesPublic Schools Stadium (1959-1960)
LocationAbilene, Texas
Coordinates32°26′01.5″N 99°41′53.5″W / 32.433750°N 99.698194°W / 32.433750; -99.698194Coordinates: 32°26′01.5″N 99°41′53.5″W / 32.433750°N 99.698194°W / 32.433750; -99.698194
OwnerAbilene Independent School District
SurfaceArtificial turf
Pecan Bowl (1964-68)
Cooper Cougars
Abilene High Eagles
Abilene Christian Wildcats (1959–2016)

Size and usesEdit

Shotwell Stadium is primarily used for American football and soccer. Each of the stadium's two concrete grandstands has a permanent seating capacity of 7,500 in an all-bleacher configuration. Several semi-permanent metal bleacher structures are located behind the north end zone, allowing for overflow seating in excess of the facility's 15,000 permanent seats. There are also standing room-only areas at the corners of the stadium, raising total capacity to nearly 20,000.

Shotwell Stadium is the home field of Abilene High School and Cooper High School. The Abilene High/Cooper High rivalry game is played here every year and always fills the stadium.

The stadium was long home to NCAA football. The Abilene Christian University Wildcats football team, currently a member of NCAA Division I FCS, played at Shotwell from 1959 through 2016. ACU opened a new on-campus stadium for the 2017 season.[4]

Shotwell was for many years the "informal" designated site for the six-man football championships of the University Interscholastic League, which governs sports competition among public high schools in Texas (as the majority of six-man schools are in West Texas). In 2010, it was formally designated as the championship site. During 2013-2014 the title games moved to AT&T Stadium but returned in 2015 to Shotwell, as AT&T Stadium was unavailable due to a conflict with a Dallas Cowboys home game.


FieldTurf's newest top-of-the-line product, FieldTurf Revolution, was installed in Spring 2012, replacing the worn SafePlay turf installed a decade earlier. Prior to 2002, Shotwell had natural grass turf.


Shotwell is equipped with Musco lighting, with two light standards on each side of the field. The current lighting system was installed following the collapse of one of the original lighting structures in 2009.

The remnants of the stadium's original lighting design can still be seen today. Four concrete columns rise above each of the main grandstands. The eight columns served as the base of the original stadium light poles.


The longest field goal in the history of all levels of organized football was kicked at Shotwell Stadium. On October 16, 1976, Ove Johannson, the Swedish-born placekicker for Abilene Christian University, kicked a 69-yard field goal against East Texas State in ACU's homecoming win against the Lions. This is currently the record for longest recorded field goal in football history.[5][6]


In the spring of 2002, the Abilene ISD Board of Trustees approved an exclusive vendor contract with Abtex Beverage Corporation, which provided funding for major renovations to the stadium. The initial upgrades included the installation of SafePlay turf, the latest generation of artificial playing surface for athletic fields. The new turf, drain system, access ramps, goalposts, and other changes were completed in late summer of 2002, in time for the 2002 football season. In August 2003, as a result of corporate sponsorship, a state-of-the-art scoreboard with an integrated color animation screen was installed on the north end. The south end scoreboard was upgraded and integrated with the new scoreboard. As a result, Shotwell Stadium became one of only a few high school stadiums in Texas with two scoreboards.[3] Soon after, the parking lots were all paved and the dressing rooms were renovated. A new $479,080 40'-wide, 34'-tall scoreboard featuring a 14'x24' high-definition video screen that displays instant replays, AISD messages and advertising, complete with sound, was installed in 2007. It was installed on the north side of the stadium to replace to scoreboard placed 4 years prior, which had not functioned properly.[7][8]


  1. ^ Shotwell Stadium Archived 2007-12-18 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Champions Classic
  3. ^ a b AISD - Facilities Archived 2007-01-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "ACU, Daktronics partner for video board at stadium" (Press release). Abilene Christian Wildcats. February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2017. Fans will get their first glimpse at the new board and all it has to offer when the Wildcats play their first game in the new stadium on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, against Houston Baptist.
  5. ^ field goal: Information and Much More from
  6. ^ ACU Today - Fall 2001 Second Glance Archived 2007-12-28 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Shotwell video screen to air commercials : High School : West Texas High School Football Teams, Scoreboard and News :Go Friday Night
  8. ^ Sports Guide : Local News : Abilene Reporter-News

External linksEdit