Floyd Casey Stadium – Baylor Football Stadium
The 2011 season marks Baylor’s 62nd year of football at the 50,000-seat Floyd Casey Stadium.
Originally named Baylor Stadium, the structure was built in 1950 after a bond sales program raised $1.5 million for construction costs. The first game played in the new stadium was Sept. 30, 1950, a 34-7 Baylor victory over Houston.
In 1989 the stadium was renamed Floyd Casey Stadium after longtime University supporter and trustee Carl B. Casey and his wife Thelma contributed $5 million of an $8 million renovation project in honor of his father Floyd (the name change was officially announced at halftime of the 1988 Homecoming game).
Enhancements continue to be made to improve the Bears’ home stadium. In July 2010 new wall-to-wall field turf — Hellas Matrix — was installed, replacing the six-year-old synthetic turf playing surface, the Prestige System.
A recruiting center, located on the stadium’s northwest patio, opened in 2006, and a tribute to Baylor football, designed to enhance the Grant Teaff Plaza, which includes the Letterwinners Plaza and the “I Believe” Walkway, was unveiled.
The plaza, first opened in 2002, began at the base of the press box on the west side of the stadium. The plaza has since been expanded to wrap completely around the stadium. The plaza’s centerpiece is a statue honoring former Baylor head coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Grant Teaff, the program’s winningest coach who led Baylor to two Southwest Conference titles.
Baylor unveiled a new synthetic turf playing surface, the Prestige System, in 2004 after six seasons of play on the natural SportGrass turf. From 1972 through 1997 Floyd Casey stadium featured an AstroTurf playing surface.
In 2002, Baylor added a 23-by-31-foot LED video screen in the south end zone (BaylorVision). The project included the addition of a state-of-the-art sound system and new digital scoreboards in both end zones.
Baylor’s locker room received a facelift in 2001, when the $2 million facility, the Big 12’s largest, was completed.
A state-of-the-art luxury suite and pressbox was built on the stadium’s west side in 1999. One year prior, the team meeting room area also underwent a complete remodeling.
The Carl and Thelma Casey Athletic Center, which housed departmental offices, locker rooms, training rooms, weight facilities, a video studio and meeting facilities, opened in 1991.
In 1990, new lights, expanded and improved restrooms, and new concession stands were completed.
An eight-year project to upgrade worn wooden bleacher seats to modern aluminum was completed in 1981.
During the 1970s, the beautiful and comfortable Letterman’s Lounge was built on the stadium’s west side with funds provided by former athletes. That facility received facelifts in both 1995 and 2006.
Prior to the building of Baylor Stadium in 1950, several playing sites were used by the Bears. Baylor’s first football squad took the field in 1899, but no records are available to prove where it played. Old newspaper clippings and yearbook articles only indicate the first three seasons were played on an extremely rough field close to the school.
From 1902 to 1925, with the exception of 1906 when football was banned on campus because it was deemed too violent, the Bears played most of their games at Carroll Field, an on-campus facility (an unknown number of games were also played at the old Cotton Palace during this period).
The Bears played at the Cotton Palace from 1926-29 before returning to Carroll Field from 1930-35. The team moved off the main campus for good in 1936 when it began calling the newly built Waco Stadium home.
Waco Stadium was renamed Municipal Stadium in 1942, and it was where Baylor played through 1949 except for a break from 1943-44 because of the war effort.
Floyd Casey Stadium
150 Bear Run, Waco, TX