Happy 69th Birthday, War Memorial Stadium
69 years ago today, on September 16, 1950, the University of Wyoming played their first game at War Memorial Stadium. Nearly seven decades later, it remains the highest elevation of any Divison 1 college football stadium in the country and the Cowboys have won nearly 70 percent of their games at home.
War Memorial Stadium and War Memorial Fieldhouse were built together for a combined cost of $1.53 million, replacing Corbett Field, which had served as the football stadium since 1922 and is now occupied by the School of Business and Student Union parking lot.
The stadium's original capacity was 20,000, with one row of grandstands on each side of the field. In 1970, an upper deck and press box added another 5,000 seats. In 1978, another press box was added to the east grandstands along with bleachers in the north end zone. In 2001, Wyoming replaced the north end zone bleachers with a video screen and scoreboard. In 2010, the Wildcatter Stadium Club was added, bringing the seating capacity to just over 29,000. The upgrades in 2010 cost over $50 million, nearly 33 times the original construction cost of the stadium and the Fieldhouse.
5,500 fans saw the first game at War Memorial, a 61-13 Wyoming victory over Montana State. The Cowboys won all four home games in 1950, on their way to an undefeated season and a #16 national ranking. Wyoming would eventually win their first seven games at War Memorial before a tie with BYU in 1951. Their first loss at War Memorial came the following year in the Border War against Colorado A+M (now Colorado State). The stadium attendance record of 34,745 was set at the Border War in 1997 when CSU beat Wyoming 14-7.