The FCS is home to stadiums of all kinds — from old to new, big to small and from FBS-looking to D3-looking.
Let’s take a look at some of these facilities and which ones are the 10 oldest.
Memorial Stadium (Indiana State)
The 12,764-seat structure has stood strong since its original construction in 1924. It was first used for high school teams along with the minor league baseball squad, the Terre Haute Tots. In 1967, the stadium was acquired by Indiana State, where it became home to the football team. At that time, renovations went into effect that included bleacher seats on the north side (which were removed in 1996) and the rebuilding of the south-side seats.
The stadium has seen many upgrades since with the most recent being new locker rooms in 2018.
Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium (Bucknell)
The stadium was dedicated in 1924 in honor of university men and women who served the United States in time of war. It received a renovation in 1989 and was renamed to honor alum Christy Mathewson, who was one of the five original members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Richardson Stadium (Davidson)
Multiple Davidson athletic teams have called this stadium home since 1923. The facility was renovated in 1998 and again in 2005 with upgraded amenities.
Memorial Field (Dartmouth)
In 1893, alumni built a football field called Alumni Oval. The original wooden grandstand burned in 1911 and in 1923, the college built Memorial Field.
Brown Field (Valparaiso)
For the first 87 years, Brown Field’s playing surface was natural grass until an artificial surface was installed in 2008 along with other renovations.
Schoellkopf Field (Cornell)
This facility has seen several updates over the last 100 years, from the field being resurfaced multiple times (the latest in 2016) along with a new press box in 1986.
Yale Bowl (Yale)
When finished in 1914, the Yale Bowl was the largest stadium in the world and the first to have seating surrounding the entire field. Renovations now have the seating capacity at just north of 61,000.
Why such a big stadium? Walter Camp, known as the “Father of American Football” played for Yale and also coached three teams there that are recognized as national champions. In the early 1900s, Yale’s 35,000-seat wooden structure was too small as ticket demands grew to watch the dominant football team. A stadium of this size was decided so the school could see a big increase in revenue. In 1921, there was even a proposal to add a second tier of seating to increase the capacity to 117,000, but it never materialized.
Fitton Field (Holy Cross)
The first football game played at Holy Cross was in 1903 with the field back then being dedicated as Fitton Field. In 1908, the team starting playing at what is now the current site. The facility went from wooden stands to a concrete structure and then to a steel structure in 1924 that makes up today’s stadium.
Harvard Stadium (Harvard)
This is the nation’s first stadium built for college football. It once had a seating capacity of 57,166, but those stands were removed in 1951 and the current capacity is 30,323. Natural grass was replaced with turf in a 2006-07 upgrade along with stadium lights. The infrastructure hasn’t been renovated since 1984, but testing says the stadium will be functional long into the 21st century.
Franklin Field (Penn)
Once able to seat crowds of 80,000 people and now with a capacity of 52,593, Franklin Field is the oldest two-tiered stadium in the country. It was once used to host the Army-Navy games and was the home for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1958 until 1970. Its history features the nation’s first scoreboard in 1895 and the first U.S. stadium with an upper deck of seats in 1922.