Image of Waldo Stadium by Cory Suppes
Waldo Stadium is home to WMU football and soccer. During the summer of 1995 the stadium received a $2.6 milion renovation. This includes a new state-of-art press box. Other new features to Waldo include permanent lighting and a $200,000 scoreboard.
The playing surface in Waldo Stadium is Prescription Athletic Turf. Installed in 1992 to replace the old artificial turf, this is a natural grass surface with a hi-tech drainage system.
Seating at Waldo Stadium has been increased by 4,075, bringing its capacity to 30,100. Included with these seats are the 325 club seats in the new press box.
The largest crowd ever to watch a Bronco event in Waldo Stadium was for a game in 1989. 33,272 fans, the second most in MAC history, were in attendance for the football game versus Central Michigan. This topped the 32,285 who attended the 1988 Central Michigan game.
On a warm autumn evening last September, Waldo Stadium hosted the largest crowd in Mid-AmericanConference history as 35,107 fans converged on Stadium Drive during CommUniverCity Night. The Bronco victory that night added another chapter to Waldo's storied history . . .
In the 1999 season, the Broncos have twice surpassed that WMU and MAC single-game attendance record. A new record was set at this year's CommUniverCity Game (35,874), only to see it broken at the Central Michigan game (36,102).
In 1939 at the cost of $250,000, Waldo Stadium was built as part of a new athletic plant at WMU which also included the construction of Hyames baseball field. Later that season, the 15,000-seat stadium -- which included an eight-lane track -- was dedicated to President Emeritus Dwight B. Waldo, the school's first president and a strong advocate of Bronco athletics.
Through the years the stadium has undergone four major face lifts.
The most recent has been the 50,000 square-foot Bill Brown Alumni Football Center, which was financed through private donations. Dedicated on July 10, 1998, the center for the first time brings coaches' offices, meeting rooms, a weight room and new locker rooms all under one roof. Some of the coaches offices will double as suites on game days. This past summer, a new Prescription Athletic Turf (P.A.T.) field was installed.
In 1995, an expanded press box featuring 325 club seats in the John Gill Stadium Club was built as part of a $2.6 million renovation project. More than 3,300 new bench seats and 750 new chair back seats were installed, raising seating capacity to 30,200. Other improvements included installation of permanent lights, a new $200,000 scoreboard (paid for through advertising) and reconstructed rest rooms and concessions.
The summer of 1992 saw Waldo's artificial turf surface (which had been in place in various forms since 1973) replaced with the new PAT for the first time. It was a natural grass surface with a hi-tech drainage system that served as part of an extensive face lift conducted in the summer of 1993.
In 1989, Waldo Stadium surpassed 30,000 seats for the first time, doubling its original capacity. Prior to the 1973 season. Waldo seating expanded from 19,000 to 25,000. That same year, artificial turf was installed for the first time. A crowd of 33,272 spectators filled the stadium for the 1989 Central Michigan game to produce the second-largest attended game in MAC history.
Home night games became a reality in 1993 and have resulted in four of WMU's top 10 largest crowds at Waldo. The 1996 Eastern Illinois contest drew in excess of 30,000 while both the Youngstown State game in 1993 and the Western Illinois game of 1994 drew over 29,000.
While Waldo Stadium is home to the Broncos on game day, much of the week's workouts take place within walking distance of the stadium at practice fields located on Davis Street.
Probably the most famous WMU football alum is John Offerdahl who called Waldo Stadium home before his 8 year NFL career for the Miami Dolphins. John was instrumental in getting the funding for the Bill Brown Alumni Football center.
Waldo Stadium is built into the side of a large hill and WMU's nickname was changed to the Broncos in 1939 prior to that WMU was nicknamed the "Hilltoppers"
Another update. WMU set the Mid-American conference attendance record at Waldo Stadium on Sept. 16, 2000 vs. Indiana State University. The attendance was 36,361 and WMU won 56-0.
Source: Western Michigan University Sports Information Office
Image of Waldo Stadium by Cory Suppes