Spartan Stadium – Michigan State Football Stadium
Spartan Stadium will enter its 88th season as home to Michigan State football in 2011. Since its opening in 1923, Michigan State has won nearly 70 percent of its games played in Spartan Stadium.
In 2005, the natural grass playing surface in Spartan Stadium earned Field of the Year honors from the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA).
Spartan Stadium represents a tribute to Michigan State’s football past and a vote of confidence in its future. A $64 million expansion project completed prior to the start of the 2005 football season features the addition of nearly 3,000 seats, including 24 suites and a 193-seat press box, bringing the current stadium capacity to 75,005. “The Spartan” statue has been relocated to the atrium of the new structure. The 200,000-square-foot addition also houses the MSU Alumni Association, University Development and other units. The MSU Board of Trustees approved the major addition and expansion project of Spartan Stadium in September 2003.
Barton Malow/Clark served as the construction manager for the Spartan Stadium expansion project, with HNTB providing architectural services.
Following the June 26, 2011, U2 “360º” concert, the entire playing surface in Spartan Stadium had to be replaced. The new playing surface, planted in April 2010 at Graff’s Turf Farms in Fort Morgan, Colo., is comprised of a blend of four varieties of Kentucky bluegrass. The installation of the new sod, transported to Spartan Stadium in 26 refrigerator trucks, took three days (July 12-15).
Prior to the 2002 season, ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. ranked Spartan Stadium No. 8 on his list of the nation’s most scenic venues.
Natural grass returned to Spartan Stadium in 2002 after a 33-year absence, with the installation of a modular field. The new playing surface, planted in May of 2001 at MSU’s Hancock Turfgrass Research Center, is comprised of a blend of nine varieties of Kentucky bluegrass. The original switch from natural grass to artificial turf came in time for the 1969 season.
Since 1957, capacity crowds have attended 154 games in Spartan Stadium, including the single-game record 80,401 fans who witnessed MSU’s 20-19 loss to top-ranked Notre Dame on Sept. 22, 1990. The Spartans have ranked among the NCAA’s top 25 in attendance each of the last 55 seasons, including 19th in 2010, averaging 73,556 fans per game.
Season-ticket sales have topped the 60,000 mark five times in Spartan football history, with an all-time record 61,479 season tickets purchased in 2000.
A series of projects paralleling the Spartans’ rise to national football prominence enlarged the steel-and-concrete facility from its original 14,000 seats in 1923 to its present size in 1957.
The first came in 1935, the year in which the stadium was officially named Macklin Field, boosting the capacity to 26,000. The 1948 enlargement raised the total to 51,000. After 9,000 new seats upped the capacity to 60,000 in 1956, the upper decks were added to the east and west stands in 1957, bringing the capacity to 76,000. It also became Spartan Stadium that year. Renovations during the summer of 1994 improved sightlines and comfort for fans, while reducing the capacity to its current 75,005.
On Oct. 6, 2001, Spartan Stadium added another chapter to its storied history as a world-record crowd of 74,554 attended the MSU-Michigan outdoor hockey game.
Prior to the 1998 season, a Mitsubishi Diamond Vision was installed in the south end zone and a new scoreboard and black and white message board were added to the north end zone. The CRT video display measures 21 feet x 27 feet and it is operated from a digital production control room in the Breslin Center. The video display board shows live game action, replays and special features. In addition, a concert-quality 50,000-watt sound system was installed.
In 1998, Spartan Stadium celebrated its 75th anniversary plus it reached another milestone that season when it played host to its 400th game, a 29-5 MSU victory over Northwestern on Oct. 31.
With its 49-14 victory over No. 4 Wisconsin in the 2004 home finale, Michigan State recorded its 300th win in Spartan Stadium. Michigan State has compiled a 327-142-13 record (.692) since taking up residency in Spartan Stadium (formerly Macklin Field) in 1923. The Spartans have gone undefeated at home 17 times since the stadium opened, including a perfect 7-0 mark in 2010. It marked MSU’s first undefeated home record since 1999 (6-0).
In addition, Michigan State has suffered only one home loss during a season 28 times. Only nine times in the history of the stadium have the Spartans experienced a losing record at home.
Michigan State’s longest home winning streak is 19 games from Oct. 14, 1950, through Nov. 21, 1953.
200 Spartan Way, East Lansing, MI 48824