Waldo Stadium By Shannon Hatch EDT 347
“From Swamp to Swank” http://www.ur.wmich.edu/centennial/history_waldo-full.html • President Dwight B. Waldo acquired the 14-acre parcel near Prospect Hill in 1913. • Waldo launched the University’s first fund-raising campaign to help pay for the land. • In the 1920s, the property featured a running track, football and baseball fields, bleachers and tennis courts.
A Football Stadium Becomes Reality • Financial maneuvering by WMU President Paul V. Sangren resulted in a new football stadium in 1939. • The University changed its nickname from the “Hilltoppers” to the “Broncos.” • Waldo Stadium originally seated 15,000 spectators.
Updates of the 1970s • The new stadium was six feet lower. • The stadium was converted to a bowl-shaped arena. • Seating was expanded to accommodate 25,000 fans. • AstroTurf covered the field.
The Next Stage • In 1989, the stadium was expanded to seat 30,200 spectators. • A commercial natural grass surface was laid in 1992. • A new electronic scoreboard and lighted signs were also added.
Updating the Scene • In 1995, permanent lights were installed for night games. • Additional bench and chair-back seating were added. • WMU enhanced public facilities at the stadium. • The press box was rebuild and expanded.
The Bill Brown Alumni Football Center • The 55,000 square foot center opened in 1998. • The $8.2 million addition was funded by private sources. • It features locker rooms, meeting rooms, training facilities and a 130-seat auditorium. • The 3rd floor coaches’ offices are used for instruction and as leased viewing suites on game days.
Any More Enhancements? • The stadium’s natural grass was replaced with NeXturf in 2001. • Phase I of WMU’s first comprehensive indoor athletic facility was completed in the fall of 2002. • The new building was named the Donald “J” Steele Athletic Center, and added ten viewing suites to Waldo Stadium.
WMU is Certainly Proud! • “Such substantial enhancements over the years have allowed the venerable stadium to maintain its heritage as an outstanding football facility and a prominent symbol of WMU spirit.” http://www.ur.wmich.edu/centennial/history_waldo-full.html http://www.wmich.edu/wmu/tour/wmu032.html
Waldo Stadium Quiz • Who is known as the “father of Western athletics”? • A) Paul V. Sangren • B) Dwight B. Waldo • C) Donald Seelye
Wrong! • Click here to return to the quiz and try again.
Correct Answer! • You’re right! Dwight B. Waldo is often called the “father of Western athletics”. How did you know?!
Bio Page • My name is Shannon Hatch and I’m a student at Western Michigan University. I live in Dowagiac with my husband and three children. I will receive my degree in Elementary Education in the Winter of 2005.