Memorial Field Restoration Project Underway

The restoration plan will preserve the historic brick facade

The restoration project will preserve the historic brick facade

The ongoing renovation of Memorial Field began after Dartmouth football’s last home game in mid-November. The interior portion of the west-side grandstand was demolished at the beginning of the project as part of a thorough remodeling of the home seating area of the stands. The finished stands will include a variety of upgraded and modernized amenities: elevator access to fan seating and the press box, a large premium seating area with individual chair backs, wider aisles, and renovated bathrooms.

The 12.5 million dollar project was initially proposed in 2008 after both the College’s own inspectors and municipal engineers determined that the structure was “nearing the end of its useful life”. The current structure was originally built in 1923 to replace an earlier wooden seating platform that burned down the previous year.

The restoration will attempt to preserve and refurbish the historic brick façade, which Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens ’78 and others have cited as Memorial Field’s most cherished element. The row of aging, ivy-covered arches is an old-fashioned design element seen as evocative of the Ivy League’s era of national football dominance. Construction crews have worked carefully around the thin brick façade, bracing the structure while stripping away and replacing the steel and concrete interior.

Universities around the conference have managed similar updates to their historic stadium infrastructure in the past decade. Yale oversaw significant updates to the Yale Bowl, the conference’s largest stadium, in 2006, and the University of Pennsylvania completed a 25 million dollar restoration of Franklin Field, the oldest NCAA football stadium, in 2010. In the context of the team’s strong second place finish in the 2014 season and the ongoing restrengthening of Ivy League football altogether, the improvements to Memorial Field may soon become yet another component of revived fan participation and excitement in Dartmouth football in the coming seasons.