Maryland Stadium
Maryland Stadium Pano
Maryland Stadium during a game on September 22, 2018
Location 90 Stadium Drive
College Park, Maryland 20742
Broke ground January 1949
Opened September 30, 1950
Expanded 1995, 2002, 2008
Owner
Operator University of Maryland, College Park
Surface FieldTurf (2012–present)
Grass (1950–2012)
Construction cost US$1 million
($NaN in Template:Inflation-year dollars[1])
Architect James R. Edmunds Jr.[2]

Populous (renovations)
General Contractor Baltimore Contractors, Inc.[3]
Former names Byrd Stadium (1950–2015)
Tenants Maryland Terrapins (NCAA) (1950–present)
Baltimore Stars (USFL) (1985)
Presidential Cup Bowl (NCAA) (1950)
Capacity 34,680 (1950–1975)
45,000 (1976–1994)
48,055 (1995–2001)
51,500 (2002–2008)[4]
54,000 (2009–2011)[5][6]
51,802 (2012–present)[7]

Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. It is the home of the Maryland Terrapins football and men's lacrosse teams, which compete in the Big Ten Conference. The facility was formerly named Byrd Stadium after Harry "Curley" Byrd, a multi-sport athlete, football coach, and university president in the first half of the 20th century. In August 2006, naming rights were sold to Chevy Chase Bank, which was subsequently acquired by Capital One. On December 11, 2015, the Byrd Stadium name was removed, with the stadium being renamed Maryland Stadium.[8]

History[edit | edit source]

Interior empty

Interior on game day

Byrd Stadium, constructed at a cost of $1 million, opened September 30, 1950 in order to replace an older, much smaller Old Byrd Stadium. For four decades, Maryland Stadium consisted of a horseshoe-shaped bowl with capacity of 34,680. In 1991, the five-story Tyser Tower, featuring luxury suites and an expanded press area, was completed on the south side of the stadium, as well as the Gossett Football Team House adjacent to the east endzone. In 1995, the stadium's capacity was raised to 48,055 through the addition of an upper deck on the north side of the stadium. In November 2001, as the football team once again became an ACC-title contender, temporary bleachers were brought in for an additional 3,000 seats. Those bleachers remain to this day. In 2002, a full-color video scoreboard was added in the east endzone and an expansion of the Gossett Football Team House was begun. The athletic department hoped to parlay the success of the Ralph Friedgen era into a stadium expansion that would have increased capacity to 65,000,[9] but considering that attendance has become sparse over the last several years, under Friedgen and Randy Edsall, those plans have been put on hold or abandoned. Maryland Stadium's attendance record is 58,973, set on November 1, 1975. The record was achieved with temporary seating for a game featuring the #14 Terps and #9 Penn State.[10] Lights were installed in 1985.[11]

The lone version of the Presidential Cup college football bowl game was held here in December 1950. The USFL Baltimore Stars called the stadium home in 1985. Maryland Stadium has also hosted the Division I NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship ten times.[10]

Renaming and expansion plans[edit | edit source]

Tyser Tower contains 63 luxury suites

View of Tyser Tower. The Moxley Gardens can be seen in the left corner.

On August 24, 2006, the University of Maryland announced that it had agreed to a $20 million naming-rights deal with Chevy Chase Bank. The revenue from the deal was used to pay for renovations and upgrades to the Stadium.[12]

On April 25, 2007, the Athletic Department unveiled plans for a $50.8 million expansion to Byrd Stadium, a project that will increase overall capacity, add skyboxes complete with catered food and flat panel televisions, and lower the field to give spectators a better view.[13]

The first phase of the expansion plans has been completed and included renovating the old press tower and building 63 luxury suites that stretch from end zone to end zone. New mezzanine seating was added as well, bringing the capacity from 51,500 to 54,000.[14] A second LED video board was installed on the west side of the stadium just before the 2008 season.[13]

The second phase is to add an 8,000 seat upper deck to the stadium's west end zone bringing total seating capacity to over 60,000. This is dependent on the sale of all existing luxury suites from phase one. To date, no schedule for construction has been established.

On June 20, 2012, the Athletic Department announced plans for a new field at Byrd Stadium.[15] The installation of FieldTurf Revolution was completed in early August 2012, and included a new technology known as "CoolPlay" that reportedly keeps the field cooler (up to 15 °F cooler) than traditional turf fields with rubber infill.[16][17] It was the first installation of its kind in the United States.

Removal of "Byrd" from stadium name[edit | edit source]

In 2015, the student government association agreed to a resolution in support of removing "Byrd" from the stadium's name because of Harry "Curley" Byrd's segregationist history.[18][19] On September 28, 2015, University of Maryland President Wallace Loh appointed a task force to develop viewpoints and options. The University President will then make a recommendation to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents—the governing body of Maryland state universities—as to whether to change or keep the name. The ultimate decision on any name change rested with the Board of Regents.[20]

On December 11, 2015, the Board of Regents voted 12-5 to remove the "Byrd" from the stadium's name, renaming it Maryland Stadium for the time being.[8]

Many students were upset with the change and were disappointed that Loh did not consult alumni before changing the name. Harry C. "Curley" Byrd was a former football player who taught English and history and served as athletic director before rising to university president, serving from 1935 until 1954. During his tenure, the campus grew significantly, and Byrd is credited with transforming it from "an undistinguished agricultural college to something resembling a modern university."[21]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip saw their first game of American football at Byrd Stadium during their first trip to the U.S. in 1957.[22]
  • Byrd Stadium hosted Drum Corps International finals in 2000, where The Cadets tied The Cavaliers for first place.
  • On a clear day, the tops of the five tallest structures in Washington, D.C. can be seen from the top of the stadium: the Washington Monument (approximately 8 miles away), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Old Post Office Pavilion, the Washington National Cathedral, and the United States Capitol.

Panoramic view during a 2007 game vs. the Clemson Tigers, before the expansion of Tyser Tower.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  2. "Real Estate News", January 8, 1950. Retrieved on September 29, 2011. 
  3. History - Baltimore Contractors LLC. Archived from the original on July 24, 2013.
  4. 2008 Football Game Notes - Maryland vs. No. 23 California. University of Maryland Athletics (September 2008). Retrieved on September 10, 2013.
  5. 2009 Maryland Football Spring Prospectus. University of Maryland Athletics (2009). Retrieved on September 10, 2013.
  6. Maryland Football 2011 Preseason Notes. University of Maryland Athletics (2011). Retrieved on September 10, 2013.
  7. Maryland Football 2012 Preseason Notes. University of Maryland Athletics (2012). Retrieved on September 10, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wenger, Yvonne (December 11, 2015). Byrd Stadium to become Maryland Stadium after regents vote. BaltimoreSun.com. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved on December 11, 2015.
  9. Facilities. University of Maryland Athletics. Retrieved on September 17, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Athletic Facilities. University of Maryland Athletics. Retrieved on November 6, 2013.
  11. "Byrd Stadium to Get Permanent Lights", Washington Post, January 19, 1985. 
  12. Chevy Chase Bank Signs Naming Right Agreement for Byrd Stadium Field. University of Maryland (August 24, 2006). Archived from the original on August 31, 2006. Retrieved on September 11, 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Carig, Marc. "Maryland's Byrd Stadium to Add Some Luxury", April 24, 2007. Retrieved on April 25, 2007. 
  14. Template:Cite press release
  15. Terps Installing Unique FieldTurf Surface. University of Maryland (June 20, 2012). Archived from the original on September 24, 2012. Retrieved on June 22, 2012.
  16. Byrd Stadium Synthetic Turf Project is Finished. University of Maryland Athletics (August 3, 2012). Retrieved on September 10, 2013.
  17. Terps Installing FieldTurf Surface at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. FieldTurf (June 20, 2012). Retrieved on June 22, 2012.
  18. U-Maryland student government endorses demand that Byrd stadium be renamed, citing racist legacy. Washington Post (April 8, 2015). Retrieved on April 8, 2015.
  19. Student coalition seeks to get 'Byrd' off University of Maryland's stadium. Baltimore Sun (April 9, 2015). Retrieved on April 9, 2015.
  20. Working group considering name change for Byrd Stadium (September 28, 2015).
  21. "University of Maryland president calls for renaming of Byrd Stadium - Baltimore Sun", Baltimore Sun, December 7, 2015. Archived from the original on December 7, 2015. 
  22. Maryland Athletics - University of Maryland Official Athletic Site.

External links[edit | edit source]

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