Crusader Stadium at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to Open September 21
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will open its first, on-campus stadium on September 21, 2013. The $20 million stadium, designed by Populous, seats 7,671 with space for 5,400 on the home side and 2,200 on the visitors’ side.
“Crusader Stadium will become the heart of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s campus. For the first time, daily student life will be merged with one of the most successful college football programs in America to create a truly incredible experience for students and athletes alike,” said Earl Santee, Populous Senior Principal and designer of the new stadium. “The opening signifies something greater for the community and campus. The experience created by the addition of Crusader Stadium will allow for new traditions while supporting Christian life at UMHB and encouraging students to enjoy all that UMHB has to offer.”
The design of the stadium and the site allows for the creation of a student activity zone on campus, a primary and long-term goal of university leaders and a solution to join various portions of campus with a common area. It is adjacent to a new student union building which will function as both an anchor for the visitor’s side of the stadium and a new, functional space for students. The stadium incorporates the charm of UMHB’s campus, melding with the existing architecture, while enhancing fan amenities to create an intimate game-day experience for spectators.
Crusader Stadium and the Crusader football team will open with a game against Wesley College in their first true home game, as they previously played at Belton’s Tiger Stadium, a high school stadium. The team has achieved prominence in Division III since its first season in the fall of 1998. UMHB has won or shared eight of the last nine American Southwest Conference football championships and is one of only two Division III programs to have won at least one postseason game in each of the last seven seasons.
“Our football program has a proud past and enthusiastic goals for our future, but there has been one thing missing: a home stadium to call our own,” University President Randy O’Rear said. “Today we begin a new chapter in the history of Cru Football.”
With offices around the globe, including Kansas City and Denver, Populous is a sport and event architecture firm that specializes in the design of arenas, stadiums, ballparks and convention centers. The firm has completed work for more than 130 colleges and universities on projects including football stadiums, arenas, ballparks, training facilities and athletic master plans.
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