Beautiful Floyd Casey Stadium is home to the Baylor Bears football team. The stadium is continually upgraded to give Baylor a facility necessary to be competitive in the Big 12 Conference.
Stadium renovations have been constant recently at Floyd Casey. In 2002, Baylor added a 23-by-31-foot LED video screen going in the south end zone. The project included the addition of a state-of-the-art sound system and new digital scoreboards in both end zones.
Finishing touches on Grant Teaff Plaza also came last fall with a statue honoring the Bears' long-time head coach. The plaza opened in 2001 and is located at the base of the press box.
Baylor's locker room got a face lift in 2001, when a $2 million facility, the largest in the Big 12, was completed.
Baylor added a state-of-the-art luxury suite and pressbox structure on the West side in 1999.
In 1998, the a new playing surface was installed. SportGrass, the world's finest natural grass, was added. The team meeting room area also underwent a complete remodeling.
In 1995 the entire faŤade was sandblasted and painted. In 1990, new lights, expanded and improved restrooms, and new concession stands were completed.
The Carl and Thelma Casey Athletic Center now houses departmental offices, locker rooms, training rooms, weight facilities, a video studio, and meeting facilities.
The state-of-the-art facility was opened in 1991. Other renovation projects continue as the stadium enters its 51st year of service to Baylor.
After 39 years of being called Baylor Stadium, 1989 was the stadium's first full year under the name Floyd Casey Stadium.
The name change officially took place during halftime ceremonies of the 1988 Homecoming game with Arkansas when it was announced that longtime University supporter and trustee the late Carl B. Casey of Dallas and his wife, Thelma, contributed $5 million to the stadium renovation project in honor of his father Floyd Casey.
The generous Casey donation was part of an $8 million campaign.
After World War II the Baylor Stadium Corporation was formed and began a campaign to build a stadium for the University. The corporation launched a bond sales program and was able to raise $1.5 million for construction costs. The Bears moved to Baylor Stadium in 1950.
The first game played in the 50,000-seat stadium was September 30, 1950, a 34-7 Baylor victory over the Houston Cougars, then, an independent team. The initial Southwest Conference game was November 4, 1950, a 27-20 win over Texas A&M. The largest crowd to see at home was the 1995 A&M game when 51,218 fans jammed the stadium to watch the Aggies top the Bears 24-9.
Many improvements and additions have been made to the stadium over the years.
From 1972 to 1997, the Bears played on an AstroTurf surface at Floyd Stadium.
During the 1970s, the beautiful and comfortable Letterman's Lounge was built on the stadium's west side with funds provided by former athletes. That facility received a facelift in 1995.
An eight-year project to change from worn wooden to modern aluminum bleacher was finished in 1981.
Prior to the building of Baylor Stadium in 1950, several playing sites were employed by the Bears. The first Bear football squad was formed in 1899, but no records are available to prove where the team played. Old newspaper clippings and yearbook articles only indicate the first three seasons were played on an extremely rough field close to the school.
From 1902 to 1925, with the exception of 1906 when football was banned on campus because it was deemed too violent, the Bears played most of their games at Carroll Field, an on-campus facility. An unknown number of games were played at the old Cotton Palace during this period.
The Bears played at the Cotton Palace from 1926-29 before returning to Carroll Field from 1930-35. The team moved off the main campus for good in 1936 when it began calling the newly built Waco Stadium home. Waco Stadium was renamed Municipal Stadium in 1942, and it was where BU played through 1949 except for a break from 1943-44 because of the war effort.
Source: Baylor University Sports Information Office
BAYLOR OFFICIALS CONTEMPLATING NEW STADIUM
January 6, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Waco, Texas - The Houston Chronicle says Baylor University athletic director Ian McCaw is
beginning to consider the idea of a new $175 million stadium.
Much remains to be done before dreams become reality, but it's a dream that has developed
wings in the wake of Baylor's football revival in the Bears' third year under football coach Art Briles, the newspaper said.
McCaw, who would have to raise the money from the likes of Astros owner Drayton McLane and other benefactors, is cautious about prospects for a riverfront stadium. However, for the first time since coach Grant Teaff roamed the sidelines at Floyd Casey Stadium, located 3.7 miles southwest of campus, The Chronicle said Baylor has a product that McCaw can pitch to potential donors with confidence.
"This building (the Simpson Center, which opened in 2008) and the indoor practice facility have been powerful signals in terms of having state-of-the-art facilities on campus and bringing football back to campus," McCaw said. "It's been huge. You can look at the recruiting rankings and see the difference that it's made."
The urgency of the matter was driven home last summer when it appeared the Big 12 was teetering on extinction, which would have left Baylor hard-pressed to stay within the ranks of a Bowl Championship Series-affiliated conference.
"It was an anxious time," McCaw said. "But we came out of it with more resolve than ever. Sometimes you don't appreciate things until they are at risk. The Big 12 was at risk, and those who didn't realize what a valuable asset it is to the community now realize it. We saw our fans and donors respond, and everyone has a grater sense of commitment and urgency to be successful."
Baylor also has an energetic fund-raiser and supporter of athletics in its president - former Clinton-era Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr. McCaw said Starr "has been incredibly supportive of athletes, and he recognizes the marquee branding value of college athletics. He was wonderful in terms of providing leadership through the Big 12 crisis."
September 29, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
A Baylor source confirmed to KXXV the University is getting closer to solidifying plans to build a new football stadium on or near campus. The school has agreed to buy the Hotel Waco just across the Brazos River from campus on the east side of I-35. The source said that site is just one of a multiple number of possible locations being considered for the new $250 million stadium. The school has reportedly been buying other property near campus that could be used as part of the project. Baylor apparently has also not ruled out a major renovation to Floyd Casey Stadium, if funds cannot be raised to build an all-new facility.
BAYLOR PLANNING FOOTBALL STADIUM
November 10, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Waco, Texas - Baylor Athletics has released an architectural rendering of an on-campus,
riverfront football stadium. The school also said it will conduct a fan survey and feasibility study that is expected to be completed next month.
"Due to the strong interest expressed by Baylor Nation for an on-campus football facility, we have decided to share a rendering of the stadium," Director of Athletics Ian McCaw said of the architectural drawing done by architect Populous, that has been engaged to develop the stadium's master plan.
McCaw said the preferred location for the stadium is the Brazos River site adjacent to Interstate 35 and across from the Highers Athletics Complex. Last month, the University purchased the Waco Hotel that currently sits on the northern end of the site.
"This location will maximize the stadium's exposure," McCaw said, "given the more than 100,000 vehicles that travel the highway each day, while providing Baylor with an extraordinary branding opportunity."
Baylor football has been off campus since 1936, when it moved from the on-campus Carroll Field facility to Waco Stadium (later renamed Municipal Stadium). This is the Bears' 62nd season of football at the 50,000-seat Floyd Casey Stadium, which originally opened as Baylor Stadium in 1950.
Drayton McLane, a former Chairman of the Board of Regents (2002-04) and longtime supporter, has been a strong proponent of moving football back on campus.
Although he made it clear that the project has not been approved, McCaw said an on-campus, riverfront stadium "would transform our football program, the University and Waco community, while offering one of the most unique and desirable fan experiences in all of intercollegiate athletics."
Beyond the architectural rendering, one of the first steps in the process will be a fan survey conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure that will be mailed out to Baylor Bear Foundation members and football season-ticket holders.
The results of the fan survey and feasibility study will answer questions related to the stadium, including naming rights, stadium revenues, seating capacity, number of suites, club seating, function space and other amenities.
BAYLOR GETS MAJOR GRANT FOR STADIUM
March 15, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures
Waco, Texas - Baylor University announced that Temple businessman Drayton McLane, Jr.
and his wife Elizabeth have made the largest capital donation in university history for construction of a new on-campus football stadium, KWTX reported.
If fundraising goes as hoped, the stadium could be completed for the first home game in 2014.
Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said the family didn't want the amount to be disclosed, but she confirmed that it was more than the $20 million donated by three Baylor law graduates in 1998 to build a new law school.
McLane had been considered a likely source for the lead donation for the new facility since November when he sold the Houston Astros, which he had owned since 1992, to a group of Houston investors for $610 million.
Baylor Board of Regents Chairman Buddy Jones said the facility will be called Baylor Stadium at McLane's request.
The price tag for the facility could be as high as $250 million, some sources have said.
The stadium architecture firm Populous has been hired to develop a master plan for the stadium, the preferred site for which is along the Brazos River next to Interstate 35 across from the Highers Athletics Complex.
Plans for the stadium on the 93-acre site along the interstate call for 45,000 seats with the flexibility to expand to 55,000, canopy shading, suites, loge boxes, indoor and outdoor club seating and an event center and Stadium Club for year-round use, the university said.
A bridge would cross the Brazos River, connecting the facility to the main campus.
Baylor is the only school in the Big 12 that doesn't have an on-campus stadium. There hasn't been a field on the campus since the 1930s.