May 10, 1921 was "Stadium Day." More than 4,000 students and faculty turned out to tear down the rickety McCook Field bleachers built in 1892 and to watch Chancellor Ernest H. Lindley break ground for the new Memorial Stadium. This stadium, named to honor the 125 students and alumni killed in World War I, was partially funded by the Million Dollar Drive launched after that war--the same drive that partially funded the building of the Kansas Union and the James Wood Green statue. Student pledges averaged about $60 each. Ultimately the drive furnished one-third the $640,000 cost; the Athletic Association contributed the rest.
The stadium was designed so spectators could be as near as possible to the playing field and still have an unobstructed view. The south end was open for many years giving the crowd a splendid the view of the hill, and fans on the hill a view of events in the stadium. Subsequent renovations have added enclosed rooms, a press box, more seats, permanent night lighting, and closed the south end. The stadium now will hold 51,500 fans.
11th Street |
LaForce Bailey, professor of architecture, and C.C. Williams, professor of civil engineering
Unit Construction, St. Louis MO
Foundation & Structure:
Reinforced concrete; first level: round arch openings, second level: closed round arches; a 20-foot wide concourse runs beneath the seats within the outer wall.
Steps & risers:
Forty concrete steps with five heights of risers