The only place in the state of Virginia to enjoy thrilling head-to-head Atlantic Coast Conference football, picturesque David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium provides the perfect setting for big-time college gridiron action.
This fall, Virginia opens its home football season on natural grass for the first time since 1973. The new playing field-to be known as David A. Harrison III Field-will be dedicated September 2, during UVa's first home game of the 1995 season against William & Mary.
The field is named after David A. Harrison III of Hopewell, Va., who pledged $5 million to support the UVa football program. Harrison earned his bachelor's degree from Virginia in 1939 and graduated from the UVa law school in 1941. Both he and his father played football while students at the University.
Harrison's gift is believed to be the largest individual contribution ever made to UVa athletics. In addition to funding the replacement of artificial turf in Scott Stadium with a new natural grass field, the gift made possible the recent construction of a new artificial turf practice and competition field near University Hall, established an endowment for future departmental needs, and will fund other long-needed stadium improvements, including upgraded entrances, locker rooms and media areas.
Harrison Field replaces artificial turf which was first installed at Scott Stadium in 1974. From the stadium's first season in 1931 until the last season with real grass in 1973, the Cavaliers compiled a home record of 99-84-11 (.539). Virginia was 68-51-1 (.571) at Scott Stadium on artificial turf.
Located in the south end zone is Bryant Hall. The modern dining and locker room facility was completed for the start of the 1985 season at a cost of nearly $3 million. The building is named in honor of J.C. Herbert Bryant, a 1932 Virginia graduate and one of the principal benefactors of the structure. While a student at UVa, Bryant lettered in football, boxing, baseball and track. He played in the Scott Stadium dedication game against VMI in 1931 and his field goal in that game accounted for the first points ever scored in the stadium.
One of the finest facilities of its kind, the two-story Bryant Hall complex houses locker rooms and training rooms for both the home and visiting teams, a team meeting and press conference room, and a fully-equipped kitchen. The second-floor dining area, where Virginia athletes are served their training-table meals, faces the football field, which is visible through large windows running the length of the facility.
Next to Bryant Hall is the Locker Room. The building, which once served as the locker room facility for the home and visiting teams, has been renovated into a gathering place for Virginia football lettermen. The Locker Room was dedicated in September of 1990 to the late Charles Frankel, a long-time UVa football team doctor.
Scott Stadium has long been considered one of the most beautiful football stadiums anywhere, with Monticello Mountain as a backdrop and the Blue Ridge Mountains on the horizon.
Entering its 64th season of college football, Scott Stadium was the gift of Frederic William Scott and Elisabeth Strother Scott, and was dedicated to the memory of his parents, Frederic Robert Scott and Frances Branch Scott. Responding to recommendations of a Stadium Committee, which was appointed by former University President Edgar Shannon, the University decided to renovate the stadium in 1974. In a splendid gesture of generosity, the descendants of Frederic W. Scott pledged $360,000 for a comprehensive renovation. The athletic department provided an additional $125,000 to install new aluminum seating, and an anonymous benefactor made an additional gift of $300,000 for the purchase of an artificial playing surface, which was replaced in 1981. The artificial playing surface was replaced again in 1988.
Following a two-year delay due to construction problems, the stadium opened its upper decks for the first time in the fall of 1980. The additional 12,000 seats in the upper level brought the permanent seating capacity to 40,000. Additional seating is available on the north end hillside.
A permanent lighting system was added to Scott Stadium in 1982, bringing the excitement of night football to Charlottesville. Before the 1986 season, Scott Stadium successfully underwent repairs to correct deterioration of the foundation in the stadium's original seating.
An excellent press facility, which has a seating capacity of 150, was the condition of an anonymous donor's gift. Named for Captain Norton Pritchett, Virginia's director of athletics from 1935 until his death in 1951, the press box includes a carpeted, glassed-in reception area which can accommodate dinners and meetings on a year-round basis. The press area also includes two radio booths and one television booth, areas for stadium personnel, visiting and home coaches, and a VIP section. In addition, there is a photographic darkroom, two rest rooms and kitchen facilities.
Not surprisingly, the 10 largest crowds in stadium history have all come since UVa head coach George Welsh's arrival in 1982, including an all-time record-setting crowd of 49,700 for UVa's nationally televised game against Georgia Tech in 1990.
UVa is 38-9 at home during the past eight seasons, including perfect marks of 7-0 in 1991, 6-0 in 1989 and 5-0 in 1987.
Since the first game played in the original stadium on October 18, 1931čagainst Virginia Military Instituteč314 games have been played in the facility. Virginia enters the 1995 season with a 167-135-12 all-time record in the structure.
Source: University of Virginia Sports Information Office
The University of Virginia was founded and designed by Thomas Jerrerson in 1816, blends modernity with the classic beauty of the Colonial period. On its first governing board were James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and the Marquis de LaFayette was twice entertained here. Edgar Allen Poe and Woodrow Wilson were students of this university and Edwin A. Alderman, educational statesman, was its late president.
It has recently been announced that Carl Smith, a UVA grad and former football player, has donated 23 million dollars to be used exclusively to upgrade Scott Stadium. Capacity will be expanded from 44,000 to approximately 60,000. The university has committed to an aggressive schedule and plans to have all upgrades completed in time for the 1999 football season.