Without a doubt, the most beautiful and convenient football facility in the Big 12 Conference is the 43,000-seat Jack Trice Stadium. Located on a 30-acre tract, the stadium is part of the ISU Center on the southeast corner of the Ames campus.
In December 1983, the Iowa State University football field was officially named. The name of the facility itself is Jack Trice Stadium, with the field named in honor of Jack Trice, Iowa State's first black athlete. Trice died from injuries he received in a varsity football game in October 1923.
Former ISU Director of Athletics Lou McCullough was instrumental in the construction of the stadium, which offers an unobstructed view of the playing field as well as remarkably easy access and parking. The stadium is part of the ISU Center, which includes James H. Hilton Coliseum, C.Y. Stephens Auditorium, J.W. Fisher Theater, and the Carl Scheman Continuing Education Building, with lighted parking for 4,000 vehicles.
The stadium was completed in less than two years, from the ground breaking on October 26, 1973, to the first game, a victory over Air Force, on September 20, 1975. In late 1973 and spring of 1974, heavy earth-moving equipment shaped the embankments. A huge, movable form shaped the lower decks with thousands of cubic yards of cement.
Originally, the stadium had a capacity of 42,500, all on the sidelines. In 1976, endzone bleachers were constructed to increase capacity to more than 48,000. Standing room tickets, sold for each game, brought the capacity to more than 50,000. An all-time record crowd of 54,475 watched the ISU vs. Nebraska game on Oct. 27, 1990. Completion of the Jacobson Athletic Facility changed the capacity to 43,000.
The press box is located between the upper and lower decks. There is seating for 93 people in the main press area. The press box also features 10 private booths, along with a computer center for the all new state-of-the-art scoreboard/message center. The press box is structured so that media can enter either end using ramps, eliminating the need for elevators. There is an enclosed camera deck atop the west stands as well as two camera bays on either end of the main press box. Opposite the press box on the east side is a modern club section, seating 480 in theater seats. Included in the club area are a lounge and rest rooms.
The south end of the stadium features ISU's new high-tech scoreboard/message center, constructed in 1994 at a cost of $750,000. Corporate sponsors have underwritten the project with additional revenue to be used to support the Cyclone athletic program.
The newly renovated Ralph A. Olsen Building is adjacent to the north end of the Jacobson Athletic Building. The Olsen Building, named in honor of the prominent Ellsworth farmer and alumnus, houses the strength training and athletic training facilities.
The stadium complex was transformed in 1995-96 with the construction of the state-of-the-art Richard O. Jacobson Athletic Building. The new home of Iowa State's football program includes football offices, team meeting rooms, locker rooms, an auditorium and a natural grass field last summer after 20 years of artificial surfaces.
Source: Iowa State University Sports Information Office