Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
|Country||United States of America|
|Cost||3 mln $|
|Address||550 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401|
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium – stadium description
When was Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium built?
In the mid-1950s, there appeared thoughts about building a new stadium for the college football team representing the United States Naval Academy, based in Annapolis, Maryland. The new, larger facility was to replace the old Thompson Stadium. Thanks to various grants, the $3m needed for construction was raised and work began in early 1959. The stadium opened on 26 September 1959, with Navy beating the University of William & Mary team 29:2 at the inauguration.
How was Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium modernised?
The facility underwent its biggest upgrade in the early 2000s, when, among other things, the pitch was lowered (which was also equipped with artificial turf), additional rows were added along the playing field, the north-west arc of the stadium was remodelled, a new, small stand with corner platforms was built on the opposite side, and the spectator seats were fitted with plastic chairs. Further upgrades were made in later years, one of the largest being the expansion of the boxes above the north-east stand (known as the Akerson Tower) in 2014.
What events does the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium host?
The most significant user of the stadium is the Navy Midshipmen college football team, representing the United States Naval Academy. The facility is also used by the university's lacrosse teams. In the past, the stadium has also hosted a professional lacrosse team, the Chesapeake Bayhawks, a Major League Lacrosse participant. Since 2013, the annual so-called Military Bowl has been played here.
The facility has also hosted occasional MLS or NHL hockey league games. In the summer of 1984, when Los Angeles hosted the Olympic Games, the stadium played host to six group stage matches in the Olympic football tournament. In 2005, the arena hosted games of the 7th edition of the women's lacrosse world championships. From 2023, the stadium will play host to the players of the new Annapolis Blues FC, which is expected to join the semi-professional National Premier Soccer League.
When the Navy Midshipmen football team plays, some of the seats in the stadium are occupied by Naval Academy cadets dressed in distinctive uniforms. An interesting custom is that, after each score, the cadets run towards the end of the pitch to perform the number of push-ups corresponding to the current number of points their team has.
What are the characteristics of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium?
The stadium has two high, two-storey stands located along the pitch. The one on the south-west side is the so-called Blue Side and the opposite one is the Gold Side. On their tops are the lodges and hospitality spaces. Behind the north-western end of the pitch is a slope in the form of an arc, the upper part of which is occupied by a grandstand and the rest is covered with grass.
Behind the other end of the pitch is a low grandstand with built-up corners in the form of an elevated open viewing platform. Four undersized lighting masts stand in the corners of the stadium, and two video screens have been placed behind the ends of the pitch. There are numerous parking spaces surrounding the venue. The capacity of the arena is 34,000 spectators, although given that visitors can also sit on the grass on the north-west curve, the number of fans could be higher.
The stadium also serves as a memorial to those in the service of the Navy and Marine Corps. The facility features numerous plaques honouring soldiers and commemorating battles fought with the U.S. Navy and Marines. Individuals who have financially supported the team and the stadium are also honoured. The field - Jack Stephens Field - is named after one of the donors.