Having undergone recent renovations, Mackay Stadium serves as the grounds for an amazing home-field advantage and incredible game-day experience.
Since the early 1900's, Nevada football teams have played in facilities named after university benefactor Clarence Mackay. Until the mid 1960's, Mackay Stadium was a small field located in the bowl that currently houses the Reynolds School of Journalism. The modern Mackay Stadium was completed in 1965 with a seating capacity of 7,500. The facility has been expanded several times in the last 15 years and now seats 29,993.
The first game at new Mackay Stadium established the Wolf Pack's winning tradition in its home facility when led by quarterback Chris Ault, Nevada turned in a 17-13 win over UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 1, 1966. Since then, Nevada has tallied a 159-46-2 (.773) record in the friendly confines of Mackay Stadium.
Since Ault returned to the sidelines prior to the 2004 season, Nevada has been dominant at home with a 15-3 record. The Wolf Pack has lost to just two teams at home since 2004.
In the late 1980's and early 1990's, with Division I-A status in mind, then Athletics Director Ault began to investigate the process of expansion. Now, $6.5 million worth of fundraising later, the stadium has a spectacular skybox complex on the west side with 48 permanent suites and impressive media and stadium club facilities. Add 12 suites and the upper deck on the east side, an improved scoreboard, and vastly improved rest room capacities, and it is no wonder Nevada led the Big West in attendance in seven of its eight years in the league. The 1997 season provided two of the top three crowds of all time as over 30,000 came out for the Oregon and UNLV games in September. The last sell-out was the UNLV game in 2003.
In the summer of 2000, the innovative FieldTurf synthetic grass was installed in the stadium. This state-of-the-art product has already paid for itself in water and labor savings and is guaranteed until 2008.
A year later, the Benefactor Tribute was added near the south entrance to the stadium. It serves as the focal point of the Endowment Plaza, built in the early 1990's, which forms a semicircle opposite the bronze wolves just inside Mackay's main entrance and honors all those who have helped with capital projects, endowed athletics scholarships and/or been members of the Millennium Team, helping Nevada join the WAC in 2000.
Added for the 2002 season were large sponsor billboards on the back side of the south end zone bleachers. A northwest ticket booth was added in 2003 to accommodate those fans entering from the north side of the stadium. That same year, one of the most significant changes occurred -- lights were added to allow for valuable television exposure and night games are now part of the Mackay experience for early season games.
Prior to the 2004 season, the West Stadium Parking Complex, a 1,900-stall parking garage, opened. It is located adjacent to Mackay and Lawlor to accommodate special event parking at those two venues as well as for general university parking demands during the week with the ever-increasing University enrollment. Also added was a new sound system that enhances the audio portion of the game-day experience at Mackay.
New in 2005 were organized tailgate tent areas in the northwest part of the stadium and improved game day festivities, while the latest enhancements include a brand-new large video replay screen and scoreboard that improved the game-day experience in 2006.
The tent areas north of the stadium are now part of Packtown, which encompasses the official president's tailgate, the Associated Students of the University of Nevada tailgate and Wolf Pack Alley. Wolf Pack Alley is an interactive corridor for fans that features community booths, bounce houses and a live band before every home game.
Source: University of Nevada Sports Information Office