Frank Howard Field at Clemson Memorial Stadium
|Country||United States of America|
|Other names||Death Valley (nickname)|
|Inauguration||19/09/1942 (Tigers - Presbyterian College, 32-13)|
|Construction||06/10/1941 - 09/1942|
|Renovations||1958, 1960, 1978, 1982, 1983, 2005-2009|
|Record attendance||86,092 (Tigers - Florida State, 1999)|
|Design||Carl Lee, Professor H.E. Glenn|
|Contractor||A.N. Cameron and Hugh Webb|
|Address||Avenue of Champions, Clemson, SC 29634, USA|
Description: Clemson Memorial Stadium
Clemson University’s website begins this stadium’s history with an amusing anecdote. Apparently former coach Jess Neely told local legend Frank Howard to never build a stadium for the Tigers. Instead he suggested “Put about 10,000 seats behind the YMCA. That's all you'll ever need”. Five decades after he said it Clemson averaged nearly 80,000 per game! One piece of advice that proved well off the mark.
That said, Clemson Memorial Stadium indeed began with one stand being put beside a field, but it was huge. In 1942 the south stand was built with 20,500 capacity and it remained the sole one until 1958. Then 18,000 were added in the north, while a modest western end followed in 1960. At that time it was over 40,000.
For nearly two decades the stadium remained unchanged just to see a huge leap in 1978-1982. In two phases upper decks were added to the north and south, roughly 10,000-seat each. Their scale is particularly impressive when compared with very low east/west ends. The western stand was actually rebuilt and expanded in 2005-2009, but it remains a single-tier stand with just a corporate balcony on top.
The east side is the least developed since opening, yet the most interesting one. To this day the central part of this section is a green hill, called simply The Hill. Clemson allow 4,000 to sit there every game, but before they can use it in peace, players run down the hill onto the field.
This tradition is decades long and began naturally as locker rooms were in that area. Currently they’re in the west, which makes it amusing when players are loaded onto two buses and travel around the stadium just to run down. Before doing so they meet atop the hill, around “Howard’s Rock”, a rock from Death Valley (California) given as a souvenir for the stadium, nicknamed Death Valley for its atmosphere.