Harder Stadium

Harder Stadium

Harder Stadium, located in Santa Barbara, California, is the on-campus soccer, rugby, and lacrosse stadium of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The stadium was built in 1966 and is named after Theodore "Spud" Harder, a former coach of the Gauchos' football team. The team played their home games at Harder Stadium until football was cut in 1992 due to budget cuts. The stadium has a capacity of 16,000 people, and is the largest stadium on California's Central Coast, larger than that of Alex G. Spanos Stadium which is currently used by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Along with the UCSB Events Center, it is one of the more well-attended athletic venues in the Central Coast.

Every year, the school's Associated Students Program Board has thrown a free day-long party, known as EXTRAVAGANZA, at Harder Stadium. Previous bands to have played at the festival include Sublime, No Doubt, Jack Johnson, T.I., Run-D.M.C., Busta Rhymes, Black Eyed Peas, Jane's Addiction, The Roots, MXPX, Zebrahead, Social Distortion, Eve 6, Pepper, and E-40.

Harder Stadium sees most of its present-day use as a soccer stadium to the UCSB Men's Soccer team. The stadium has hosted numerous NCAA soccer playoff games. In 2004, 11,214 fans saw UCSB defeat Virginia Commonwealth by a 4-1 scoreline to get to the College Cup (NCAA Soccer's "final four"). After the game, a group of students celebrated by carrying one of the soccer goals out of the stadium. They had planned to throw it into the Pacific Ocean (about 1/3 mile away), but were stopped by a combination of law enforcement down the block and tiring out from the weight of the goal.

In 2006, the UCSB Men's Soccer team won the 2006 Division I Men's College Cup in St. Louis, Missouri. Meanwhile 2000 miles away at Harder Stadium, a group of rowdy students marched down to the stadium from their homes and attempted the same feat. This time the group succeeded in their quest, throwing the soccer goal off of a cliff at the beginning of the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive.

Harder Stadium also houses 18 art studios located beneath the seating risers. They are primarily used by graduate students and faculty.

The stadium is located on the campus of UCSB, along with all of UCSB's other athletic facilities. The Santa Ynez Mountains can be seen to the north of the stadium, and southerly ocean breezes from the Pacific Ocean can be felt.

External links

* [http://www.aw.id.ucsb.edu/maps/ Campus maps of UCSB, with Harder Stadium located at the top left (northwest)]
* [http://www.gaucholocos.com/facilities/harder.html Gaucho Locos' page on Harder Stadium]
* [http://www.ucsb.edu/ School website]
* [http://ucsbgauchos.collegesports.com/ Official UCSB athletics website]

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