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Brunoniana

From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Stadium

The Stadium on Elmgrove Avenue opened in 1925. Planned by Gavin Hadden of New York with Paul Cret as supervising architect, it was built by Turner Construction Company of New York at a cost of $350,000. The amphitheatre design selected provided seats for 27,646 persons – 16,400 in the south stand, 3,982 in the north stand, and 7,264 in temporary wooden stands. Original planning had anticipated that some day the north stand for visitors would be enlarged to the size of the south stand, making the capacity 32,000. It was observed at the time of building that the maximum horizontal distance from any seat to the center of the playing field was 280 feet. An all-home game schedule was arranged for 1925. Two dedication ceremonies were held, one at the Yale game, which was Yale’s first visit to Brown in 23 years, and one at the first game Harvard had ever played at Brown. Brown lost both games, 20-7 to Yale, and to Harvard by a field goal before 30,000 spectators, the largest audience to date at a Rhode Island athletic event. President Faunce dedicated the field “To clean sport and fair play; To the development of a sound mind in a sound body; To the loyalties of the game leading to the loyalties of life; To forgetfulness of self in devotion to the team; To respect for all opponents whether they lose or win; To the comradeship of American colleges.”

The first year of the stadium saw Brown with a 5-4-1 record and an assurance by President Faunce, “It does not mean that we have surrendered to the athletic craze that afflicts some parts of the country.” At Stadium Day in October 1950, President Wriston repeated the lines of dedication in observation of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Stadium, an event attended by fifteen of the captains of the teams which played in the Stadium during its first 25 years.

Lewis Milner ’06 was a benefactor of the Stadium, whose gifts included pennants of rival teams to fly over the Stadium, a public address system, an enclosed press box and a new scoreboard. He also initiated in 1944 dinners attended by local newspapermen, coaches and university officers to improve relations with the press.

In 1965, to conform with standards of the Ivy League, the scoreboard was redesigned by the Providence Electric Company in honor of the Samuel D. and Murray A. Cohen family. In the summer of 1971 a new six-lane rubberized track of uniform width (the old one varied in width) was installed around the football field at an estimated cost of $40,000. The track was dedicated at the Brown-Yale football game. New aluminum seats were installed in 1979 at a cost of $90,000. In 1985 the press box was named for Jay Barry ’50.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.


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