Spartan Stadium (East Lansing)

Spartan Stadium (East Lansing)

stadium_name = Spartan Stadium

location = Red Cedar Rd and Shaw Lane
East Lansing, MI 48824
broke_ground = 1923
opened = 1923
owner = Michigan State University
operator = Michigan State University
surface = Natural Grass
construction_cost = $16,000,000
architect = Edwyn Bowd (1923 field)
Orlie Munson (1957 stadium)
HNTB Architecture (2004 expansion)
former_names = College Field (1923-1935)
Macklin Field (1935-1948)
Macklin Stadium (1948-1956)
Spartan Stadium (1956-present)
tenants = Michigan State University Spartans (NCAA) (1923-Present)
seating_capacity = 75,005 |

Spartan Stadium (formerly College Field, Macklin Field and Macklin Stadium) opened in 1923 in East Lansing, Michigan. It is primarily used for football, and is the home field of the Michigan State University Spartans. After the addition of luxury boxes and club seating in 2004-2005, the capacity of the stadium grew from 72,027 to 75,005—though it has frequently held more than 80,000 fans—making it the Big Ten's fifth largest stadium. Its atmosphere has been described by ESPN's Lee Corso as a "snake pit." Spartan Stadium has been recognized as the 8th most scenic college football venue in the country. [ [ For scenery, check out Michie Stadium] , by Mel Kiper Jr., March 8, 2002. Accessed on June 23, 2006.]


In the early 1920s school officials decided to construct a new stadium to replace Old College Field. The resulting stadium was ready in the fall of 1923 with a capacity of 14,000. Over the years the stadium grew. In 1935 the seating capacity increased to 26,000 and the facility was dedicated as Macklin Field. John Macklin, football coach from 1911-15, put Michigan State football on the map with a 29—5 record over five seasons with victories over big name programs such as Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. After admittance into the Big Ten in 1948, Michigan State increased stadium capacity to 51,000 and the field was renamed Macklin Stadium. With Spartan football attracting national attention under Clarence "Biggie" Munn and Hugh "Duffy" Daugherty, 9,000 seats were added in 1956. The following season upper decks were added to the east and west sides boosting the capacity to 76,000. That same season Michigan State dropped the name Macklin Stadium in favor of Spartan Stadium. [ [ College Gridirons, Spartan Stadium] . Accessed 2006-06-23.] In 1969, TartanTurf replaced the natural grass field and a modern scoreboard was added in 1973. Later in the 1970s Astroturf replaced the TartanTurf. A new modern video scoreboard was added before the 1991 season. Renovations improving sightlines, field security, handicap access and club seats in 1994 reduced Spartan Stadium's capacity to 72,027. New turf was also installed in the summer of 1994. In 1998 Spartan Stadium upgraded their sound system, added a 21' x 27' Mitsubishi Diamond Vision videoboard to the south end and a message board to the north end. Home to one of the top turfgrass research programs in the nation, Michigan State installed a natural grass field in 2002. The most recent expansion was completed in August 2005. A new pressbox, 24 luxury suites, and 862 club seats were constructed on the west side of Spartan Stadium. This addition made Spartan Stadium the tallest building in East Lansing.

pecial events

The stadium currently holds the world record for the largest ice hockey crowd in history. On October 6, 2001, a rink was constructed at the center of the stadium for Michigan State's season-opening game against archrival Michigan. Dubbed "The Cold War", 74,554 watched No. 1 nationally ranked Michigan State and No. 4 nationally ranked Michigan skate to a 3-3 tie. Country artist Shannon Brown sang during the second intermission. The game set off a wave of outdoor ice hockey games in large stadiums.

The Rolling Stones performed at Spartan Stadium in October 1994 as part of their Voodoo Lounge tour.

tadium expansion

On September 3rd, 2005 Spartan Stadium unveiled an 8-story, 268,947 square-foot expansion which had been under construction since 2003. At a total cost of $64,000,000 USD the project created:
*24 luxury suites
*800 club seats
*The "Grand Entrance" featuring high ceilings, glass walls, marble floors and a new home for the original Sparty statue.
*18,000 square foot luxury concourse
*Office space for the MSU alumni association and Spartan Athletic Office.
*State of the art recruiting lounge
*Upgraded stadium wide bathroom and concourse renovations
*An increase of 3000 seats, bringing the total stadium capacity to 75,005.

The Stadium renovation was done under a joint venture of Clark Construction and Barton Malow Construction Company.

[ Video: Inside the new expansion]


Game days at Spartan Stadium provide opportunity for tailgating. Popular locations include the tennis courts, "the rock", and around the MSU library area on north campus. Open alcohol is permitted on campus during tailgating hours, with the exception of Munn field.

tadium Traditions

*"Go Green!" "Go White!" - The favorite call and response chant of many Spartans, not just on game days, but whenever they wish to identify one another as true Spartans. On game days this chant can be heard frequently from fans wandering campus. It is also called back and forth rapidly by students at the gate waiting to enter the stadium and later by students in the stands waiting for the game to begin. Sometimes a much slower, ominious sounding, "Go Green! Go White!" chant is called back and forth between the East and West sides of the stadium.

*The Spartan Marching Band - The Spartan Marching Band is responsible for keeping the energy up in the stadium between plays. They play on the field before and after the game and at halftime. During the game, they sit next to the student section. They usually play the same songs every game during the game and play new songs at halftime. Many of the songs that are played during the game incorporate audience participation.

*"It's... A beautiful day for football" - As the public address announcer gives the pregame weather report in the stadium, it is always announced to be "a beautiful day for football," no matter how poor the weather is. Usually the crowd proclaims this along with the announcer.

*"The Spartan Walk" - On the morning of each home game, the team completes a 10-minute walk from their hotel at the posh Kellogg Center, crossing the Red Cedar River, passing the Spartan Statue and finally into the stadium. The sidewalks are lined with fans applauding and cheering "Go Green, Go White." [ [ Lansing State Journal, Spartan Stadium] . Accessed 2007-09-01.]

*"Thunderstruck" - The team enters the field with AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" as the large television screen plays a special video. This is a new tradition starting in 1999, but does predate the use of "Thunderstruck" by "The Longest Yard" and other football shows/movies in recent years, although notably the movie Varsity Blues used this song in a football montage in early 1999 as well. Prior to this, the song "Ready to Go" by Republica was used for team introductions.

*"300" - Introduced in 2007, clips from the movie "300" were added to the "Thunderstruck" introduction sequence. A clip of Leonidas shouting, "Spartans! What is your profession?" is played whenever the opponent is in a third down situation. The crowd responds with an emphatic "Haroo! Haroo! Haroo!" while thrusting their fists in the air as if they were carrying spears like in the movie. This is very popular with the football team.

*3rd quarter cheer - Performed by the Spartan Marching Band Drumline in the southeast end zone between the third and fourth quarters.

*"Rowing" - After a touchdown students place their hands on the student shoulder in front of them and rock back and forth producing a "wave like" effect.

*"Key Play" - When the opponent is on their third down or if they are attempting a fourth down conversion, the students in the student section wave their keys in the air.

*Zeke the Wonder Dog - Zeke is a Frisbee-catching dog that is part of the half-time show. A fan favorite. Zeke II retired in 2007, however, a new Zeke (III) has already been appointed. Zeke III is a golden retriever.

Memorable games

*1951 – v. Notre Dame – No. 5 ranked Michigan State blanks No. 11 ranked Notre Dame 35-0 before a national audience on NBC. The dominant victory propels Spartan football into the national spotlight.
*1953 – v. Michigan – Michigan State defeats Michigan for the first time in Spartan Stadium history 14-6 earning MSU a co-Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl.
*1966 – v. Notre Dame – "Game of the Century" ending in 10-10 tie. ND was ranked No. 1 and MSU was ranked No. 2 for the entire season previous to the game.
*1974 – v. Ohio State – unranked MSU upset undefeated and No. 1 ranked Ohio State, 16-13, ruining the Buckeyes' national title hopes.
*1987 – v. Michigan – Spartans defeat Michigan 17-11 for their first victory over the Wolverines in East Lansing since 1969.
*1987 – v. Indiana – MSU defeated Indiana 27-3 to win the Big Ten title and earned their first (and to date, only) Rose Bowl bid since the 1965 season. Lorenzo White rushed for a then NCAA record tying 56 attempts for 292 yards.
*1990 – v. Notre Dame – A stadium record crowd of 80,401 watch a fourth quarter lead slip away against No. 1 ranked Notre Dame in a 20-19 loss.
*1995 – v. Michigan – Tony Banks led an 88-yard drive and threw the winning touchdown to Nigea Carter with 1:24 left in the game to win 28-25 over No. 7 ranked Michigan.
*1998 – v. Notre Dame – before a national ABC primetime audience the Spartans jumped out to a 42-3 halftime lead en route to a 45-23 win.
*2001 – v. Michigan – Quarterback Jeff Smoker finds T.J. Duckett in the endzone with no time remaining in a 26-24 victory.
*2004 – v. Wisconsin – Michigan State stunned the undefeated #4 Badgers 49-14, ending their hopes of a National Championship.
*2007 – v. Penn State – Halfback Jehuu Caulcrick leads Spartans from a 17 point deficit to a 35-31 point victory. MSU scored on 4 of 5 second half possessions, ensuring a trip to their first bowl game since 2003.

Facts and trivia

*Spartan Stadium is so loud that Stanley Kubrick’s "Spartacus" (1960) uses a recording of the crowd noise during the 1959 Michigan State-Notre Dame game. [ [ IMDB Trivia Listing for Spartacus] . Accessed on June 23, 2006]
*The Spartans have ranked among the NCAA's top 20 in attendance each of the last 47 years.
*Michigan State's longest home winning streak was 19 games starting with a 33-14 homecoming victory over William & Mary on October 14, 1950 and ended with a 6-0 loss to Wisconsin on October 2, 1954.
*Spartan Stadium is the tallest structure in East Lansing, topping Hubbard Hall.
*The original, 14,000-seat stadium built in 1923 has undergone 3 major expansions, the last of which added 16,000 seats in 1957.
*The original stadium was built in 1923 at a cost of $160,000. This would be the equivalent of $1,767,582.59 in 2005.


External links

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