Cozy and historic Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the home of the Ole Miss Rebel football team, is located on the southeast side of the University of Mississippi campus.
The recent renovation of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium has generated a new excitement in Ole Miss football. The historic stadium, which is located on the southeast side of the University of Mississippi campus, increased its capacity to 60,580 with the recent bowling in of the south end zone. The two-year construction has made Vaught-Hemingway the largest on-campus facility in the state of Mississippi.
The stadium, known as Hemingway Stadium for much of its existence, began its long historic life in 1915 when students at the University helped in the construction of the first football grandstand at the site of the present field.
The construction of the stadium and its permanent foundation was a three-year, federally-sponsored project. Stadium capacity was originally listed at 24,000.
Also, in 1950, came the addition of one of the nation's longest press boxes (80 yards). Astroturf was installed on the playing surface in 1970, making the stadium the only one in Mississippi with an artificial surface. Blue fiber glass seating was added to the West side stands in 1971 and later added to the East stands in 1973. Permanent aluminum bleachers were installed in both end zones in 1980 to bring the stadium to 41,000.
The stadium is named for the late Judge William Hemingway (1869-1937), professor of law and longtime chairman of the University's Committee on Athletics. On October 16, 1982, John Howard Vaught saw his name added to the stadium. Vaught compiled an impressive 190-61-11 record as head football coach at Ole Miss and brought the Rebels their first National Championship in 1960.
In the summer of 1984, the astroturf was removed from the playing surface and replaced with prescription athletic turf. During the summer of 1988, the stadium received a major facelift, including a new press box, new aluminum sideline seating, restrooms and concession stands, plus a club level section for 700 people. Renovations continued in the summer of 1990 when lights were added to the stadium. A new Sony JumboTron scoreboard/message center was added for the 1997 season.
In 1998, the Guy C. Billups Rebel Club Seating area was completed, placing an upper deck on the east side of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The new addition, which includes a special seating section with an enclosed concession and lounge area, pushed capacity to over 50,000. With the new addition, the Rebels set several attendance records during the 1998 season. Ole Miss defeated rival LSU, 37-31 in overtime, before an electric-atmosphere crown of 50,577 on October 31. The 50,577 spectators made up the largest on-campus crowd to watch a collegiate football game in the state of Mississippi. Five of the stadium's top 10 crowds - including the top four - came in 1998.
The season opener versus Memphis on September 5, 1998, also saw the addition of another name to the stadium. The field was named in honor of Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth for his continuing generous support to the entire Ole Miss athletic department.
The LSU game on Nov. 11, 2000, drew a record attendance of 52,368, the largest on-campus crowd to watch a collegiate football game in the state of Mississippi. Three of the stadiumís four largest crowds came in 2000.
TOP 10 CROWDS AT VAUGHT-HEMINGWAY STADIUM/
Updated July 16, 2002
|Attendance ||Opponent ||Year|
|52,476 ||LSU ||2000|
|52,368 ||Auburn ||2000|
|52,122 ||Alabama ||1999|
|51,448 ||Kentucky ||2000|
|50,928 ||Arkansas ||1999|
|50,876 ||Georgia ||1999|
|50,577 ||LSU ||1998|
|50,412 ||Miss. State ||1998|
|48,811 ||Miss. State ||2000|
|48,371 ||Auburn ||1998|
Source: University of Mississippi Sports Information Office
OLE' MISS TO BEGIN ARENA CAMPAIGN
August 11, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Oxford, Miss. - Ole Miss has announced plans for a $150 million fundraising drive to build a
new arena for its men's and women's basketball teams and improve the infrastructure of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and eventually expand it, athletic director Pete Boone told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
The new arena would seat about 10,000 and could open in time for the 2015-16 season, senior associate athletic director Danny White told the newspaper. Vaught- Hemingway's capacity could rise to more than 70,000, he said.
A new arena would replace 9,061-seat Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1966.
The stadium project could complete the bowling-in of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which dates to 1915.
The school enclosed the south end zone in 2002, raising the capacity to its current 60,580.
Ole Miss has attracted 13 above-capacity crowds since then, but its average crowds have fallen below capacity. Ole Miss averaged 55,898 last season, when it limped to a 4-8 record. A year earlier, when the Rebels won nine games and went to their second straight bowl, they averaged 55,767.
The new arena has been in the works for some time. Recent renovations have given Tad Smith Coliseum new support facilities and a modern video and audio system, but the Commercial Appeal said the school is finished trying to patch the building.
Boone started publicly exploring the idea of a new arena in December and the concept picked up steam in February and March. The school contracted with AECOM to conduct a feasibility study for the new building over the summer.
Ole Miss' high-dollar efforts coincide with similar ones at arch-rival Mississippi State. The Bulldogs' athletic director, Scott Stricklin, wrote to fans recently about the $150 million his school plans to spend on athletics facilities, including an expansion to 55,082-seat Scott Field.
The newspaper said that's a combined drive to raise $300 million for college athletics facilities between the state's two Southeastern Conference members - or about $100 for each one of Mississippi's three million residents.