Image of Spartan Stadium by Cory Suppes of Ballparks.com
Spartan Stadium, home of Michigan State football, ranks as the 20th-largest college-owned structure of its kind (designed solely for football) in the nation and fifth-largest in the Big Ten. Its 72,027-seat capacity is surpassed in the conference only by Michigan (102,501), Penn State (93,967) Ohio State (89,800) and Wisconsin (77,745).
The listed capacity has been surpassed on 63 occasions, with the top draw being the 80,401 attracted to the 1990 Notre Dame contest.
A series of projects paralleling the Spartans' rise to national football prominence enlarged the steel-and-concrete facility from its original 14,000 seats in 1923 to its present size in 1957.
The first came in 1935, the year in which the stadium was officially named Macklin Field, boosting the capacity to 26,000. The 1948 enlargement raised the total to 51,000.
After 9,000 new seats upped the capacity to 60,000 in 1956, the upper decks were added to the east and west stands in 1957, bringing the capacity to 76,000. It also became Spartan Stadium that year. Renovations during the summer of 1994 improved sightlines and comfort for fans, while reducing the capacity to its current 72,027. The stadium's maximum seating potential has been estimated at 105,000, a number that could he reached by double-decking all the way around the field.
Copyright 2000 by Aerial Views Publishing
The 1994 facelift included a new playing surface, the fourth artificial surface on the stadium floor. Unlike the previous surface and many other surfaces around the country, the current field is not crowned. It is a flat, drain-through system in which water drains through the turf, pad and asphalt. The surface and its drainage system, the same type used at the Meadowlands for New York Giants and Jets games, can withstand seven inches of water an hour. The original switch to artificial turf came in time for the 1969 season and lasted until 1973.
New scoreboards and a modernized public address system were installed in 1973 and a message board was put into operation below the north scoreboard in 1979. For the 1991 season, new 10' x 65' scoreboards were installed. The south end scoreboard houses a multi-color electronic display matrix which offers graphics and animation for the added enjoyment of the game.
Since the original structure was opened in 1923, Spartan teams have played 377 games on the field. The record for the period is 257 wins, 107 losses and 13 ties. On only six occasions has State lost more games at home than it won.
In 15 seasons the Spartans have gone through the entire home slate without a loss, and in 25 campaigns a single loss marred an unbeaten home season.
The most consecutive wins at the stadium is 19, from the third home game of 1950 through the last home game of 1953.
The Spartan Stadium Expansion Project will enhance the fan experience at Spartan Stadium
and serve the University in many ways. The completed project will add twenty-four
luxury Suites; eight hundred and sixty-two Club Seats; new press and media facilities;
office space for University Development, the MSU Foundation and the MSU Alumni
Association; and new recruiting rooms and facilities for MSU Athletics. This
exciting project will also enhance revenue for MSU Athletics and help further
position our football program in the Big Ten and nationally.
The Grand Entrance
The grand entrance to the new Suites and Club Seats on the west side of Spartan
Stadium will be well protected. Standing inside the three story, glass-enclosed
grand entrance will be the world's largest free-standing ceramic statue... otherwise
know as "Sparty". The high ceiling, glass walls, marble floors and
Sparty will greet you upon entering this beautiful new facility.
Twenty-four Suites will be built in a new press tower that will be above
the west deck of Spartan Stadium. The Suites will hold between twelve and twenty-four
guests in extraordinary comfort with theater-style seating and a living-room
style seating area complete with television monitors, refrigerators, elevator
access and private restrooms. Each suite will be climate controlled and have
windows that open and close at the owner's discretion. There isn't a better
way to entertain your family, friends, business partners and clients than watching
Spartan Football from the luxury of the new Spartan Stadium Suites.
The Club Seats
Club Seats will be built where the press box is currently located with comfortable chair back seating between the 10-yard lines. By design, the seats are outside and will be covered by the upper deck which will allow heating as well as protection from the elements. Club Seat holders will have elevator access to an 18,500 square foot indoor club with upscale food and beverage service, television monitors and private restrooms.
Three, five and seven year leases are available for the Spartan Stadium Club Seats. The Stadium Expansion project will be completed in August of 2005, just in time for the first home game of the 2005 season.
Source: Michigan State University Sports Information Office
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
October 14, 2006 - Michigan State University’s football stadium is aptly named “Spartan Stadium” and is tucked in to the sprawling university campus in East Lansing, the state’s capital.
By sprawling, we mean that the college actually occupies a lot of space even beyond the borders of the campus itself. As you make your way to East Lansing, you will drive through acres of rolling farmland and fields, many with “out buildings” serving as research centers and facilities germane to various academic pursuits.
Once you get to MSU, your focal point will take you to East Grand River St, the wide boulevard straddling the campus’ north border. The college commercial strip is on the north side of the street, endless fast food joints, some restaurants, tons of t-shirt and Spartan souvenir stores and college bookstores. While very clean and pleasant, the district lacks a central square or focal point…it is just blocks of retail.
Spartan Stadium opened in 1923 as a 14,000 seat stadium. Where have we seen this before? The stadium was added on to several times. Capacity increased to 51,000 in the 50s, and later on upper decks were added on each side to its current capacity of just over 75,000 seats. In 2005, the stadium unveiled a modern new press box and suite tower on the west side, along with exterior façade improvements. The tailgate scene here is adequate if unspectacular. The lots closest to the stadium are reserved for big ticket donors, some even if personalized parking spots, and some private lots bordering the campus also welcome tailgaters.
Michigan State plays in the Big Ten, a storied power conference. They boast five national titles, the last one in 1966, but also have numerous bowl appearances to their credit. So with this nominal record of success, one would think the game day experience would be replete with various unique experiences and traditions.
So weren’t we disappointed to discover absolutely nothing special about MSU. Granted, their national championship flags are outside the building on the south side, but if you are looking for that unique chant, the marching band’s signature, or the spark of the hometown crowd, forget about it. Well, Sparty is one of the better mascots around despite the lack of things to cheer about.
The lack of fan passion here was felt very heavily. Granted, in 2006 the team’s promising 3-0 start imploded when they gave up a huge late lead to lose to Notre Dame and then were upset by Illinois,. But this was Ohio State, the number one team in the country, coming in to town. Surely that would get the crowd jacked up; that would get the student section going nuts; that would pack the place.
Instead, the crowd sat quietly on their hands and were not a “12th man” factor at all. Many of the students left at halftime to adjourn to their local Taco Bell and McDonalds for their happy meals. There were yawning gaps of unsold seats in the upper decks and the corners.
Thankfully, the visiting Ohio State fans and their marching band made this dismal show somewhat worthwhile. Their band entertained, they provided the chants, pretty much taking over the building. Michigan State’s answer to game day entertainment was Jake the Wonder Dog catching Frisbees in his teeth during timeouts. It got old fast.
This was the seventh USRT visit to Big Ten football venues… as of now we have to rank the Michigan State experience dead last.
Game report – It got ugly two plays into the game. MSU’s first long completion was called back on a penalty. That drive into the red zone resulted in a punt, and Ohio State answered right away, scoring at touchdown and going on to an easy 38-7 victory. By the second quarter we had lit the victory cigar.
March 17, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Purses, diaper bags, camera cases, seat backs with pockets and basically every other sort of bag will be banned from Michigan State University's Spartan Stadium starting next fall, the Lansing State Journal said. "The inspection of bags and other items that fans bring into the stadium can be a time-consuming process, hindering their ability to enter the stadium in a timely manner," MSU Police Sgt. Florene McGlothian Taylor said in a statement. "This new policy will make for a safer environment and keep the lines moving more quickly." The only exception will be made for patrons who have a "medical or family need." They'll be allowed to carry a clear, 1-gallon zippered bag. The newspaper said the University of Michigan has banned bags from Michigan Stadium since 2009.
February 2, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures
Michigan State University's Spartan Stadium will be getting a facelift, and school officials say the venue will offer its patrons a much better experience next football season. The Saginaw News said the MSU Board of Trustees approved a $10 million plan to upgrade Spartan Stadium's scoreboard and sound system technology. The biggest feature of the project is the stadium's new south end zone scoreboard, which will be significantly larger than its present model. The new board offers a sleeker, more modern look with a sizable video screen. In the opposite end zone, two smaller scoreboard will be installed. A fascia, which in this case is a sort of video-screen panel, will span beneath the two south end zone scoreboards along the upper wall.