Dix Stadium enters its 40th season as the home for Kent State University football in 2008. For the second straight season, Dix Stadium will have a new look as Phase II of the renovations will be unveiled in the home-opener on Sept. 13 against Delaware State.
Phase II will be highlighted by a plaza and concessions area in the south end featuring a new Daktronics scoreboard that includes a state-of-the-art video board and sound system. Additional improvements to the stadium will include new entrance, ticket and concession areas on the west side, a new fence line with brick pillars around the stadium as well as an upgrade to the Jim and Carolyn Phelan Varsity "K" room. In addition, entryways will now feature decorative bricks, new graphics will be added to the stadium, HVAC improvements will be made to the President’s and Blue & Gold loges and 30 new ADA parking spots will be added.
DSV Builders of Niles, Ohio also handled the $2 million Phase I renovation which was completed last September, and included new entryways into the east and west stands, improvements to the north stands, a new roadway leading to the field house, a canopied roof over the press box and stadium graphics.
The south stands were demolished and removed earlier this year to make way for the new construction which began in late March. The total cost of Phase II is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $4 million and will be paid for through a collaborative effort of sponsorship dollars and University funding.
The facility, named in honor of former Kent State Board of Trustees member Robert C. Dix, was known as Memorial Stadium when it was built in 1969 at a cost of $3.5 million. The facility was renamed in 1971.
Prior to the completion of Dix Stadium, the Golden Flashes played their home games in the original Memorial Stadium, located on Summit Street at the current site of the Student Center parking lot. Construction on that stadium began in 1948 and was completed in time for the 1950 home opener, a 57-0 victory over Marietta on Oct. 14. From 1920 until the completion of Memorial Stadium, the Golden Flashes hosted foes on a humble field behind Merrill Hall on campus.
Dix Stadium, which opened with a 24-14 victory over Dayton before a crowd of 8,172 on Sept. 13, 1969, has undergone a number of improvements in recent years.
This fall marks the fourth year that the Golden Flashes will play on a state-of-the-art FieldTurf surface which replaced the artificial turf which was originally installed in 1997.
In the summer of 2006, all four restroom locations and the main loge areas were completely renovated along with cosmetic work on the locker room areas under the west stands.
Other recent additions include the installation of permanent lights in 1996, a new scoreboard with video display screen in 1998, a renovated locker room area in 2002 and the construction of new concrete and aluminum stands on the east side of the stadium with seating for 4,104 plus open areas for in-game parties and other functions.
Since that opening day against Dayton the facility has hosted 197 KSU games, including 15 night contests. The first night game at the Stadium was Sept. 29, 1990 against Cincinnati (Kent State lost, 27-24). The Golden Flashes are 6-9 all-time under the lights at Dix, including their 2006 season opener against Minnesota. That game also marked the first appearance in the venue by a Big Ten Conference opponent.
Up until 2005, Dix Stadium was also home to the Kent State field hockey team and served as the site of the 2001 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship. The facility has also hosted numerous Ohio high school playoff games.
* Constructed: 1969
* Seating Capacity: 25,000
* Location: Dix Drive, one-quarter mile east of the Summit Street-S.R. 261 intersection
* Named in honor of Robert Dix, a member of Kent's Board of Trustees for more than three decades
* Serves as the home site for the football and field hockey teams
* Permanent lights added in 1996
* Artificial turf installed in 1997
* Interior of the west stands contains spacious locker and coaches' rooms, training and equipment rooms, classrooms, and offices
* The press box facilities, which are among the finest in the MAC, include private loges as well as areas for working media, radio, public address, and other personnel
* Second level includes the Blue and Gold Loge and President's Box