Joan C. Edwards Stadium
|Country||United States of America|
|Clubs||Marshall Thundering Herd|
|Other names||Marshall University Stadium (1991–2003)|
|Inaugurtion||07/09/1991 (Thundering Herd - New Hampshire Wildcats, 24-23)|
|Construction||18/07/1990 - 08/1991|
|Renovations||1992, 1994, 2000|
|Record attendance||41,382 (Thundering Herd - West Virginia Mountaineers, 10/09/2010)|
|Cost||$ 30 million|
|Contractor||RC-Irey (Frank Irey Company, River Cities)|
|Address||2001 3rd Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia 25755, USA|
Joan C. Edwards Stadium – stadium description
Plans of leaving the dated Fairfield Stadium surfaced in 1980s, largely due to unpopular location off the Marshall University campus. The university secured funding for the new venue in 1989, issuing $70m worth of bonds ($30m for the stadium alone).
With planning clear for three blocks of land (occupied by parking sites, the stadium and training fields, looking from the west respectively) and funding secured the academia selected general contractors in June of 1990 and began works in July. Within just over a year the structure was ready.
The modern stadium with two large stands in the west and east was expected to hold 30,000 people, but the architects admitted late into the project that it would not. Due to miscalculation of seats in the central area of western grandstand the actual capacity was 28,000.
The initial layout was thus 2,000 seats short of the university’s goal, prompting first expansion already in 1994. The missing number of bleachers was added, but Marshall didn’t stop there. In 2000 the south end reached the height of two existing sides, giving the building a 38,000+ capacity. Further expansions are somewhat limited because the north end is enclosed by administrative and sporting facilities of the university’s football section.
Interestingly, the stadium is one of very few named after a woman. Joan C. Edwards was a philanthropist and together with her husband donated $65 million to the university in total. James, the husband, has the field named after him.