Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium

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Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium
Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.jpg
Location2531 North State Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39216
OwnerJackson State University
OperatorJackson State University
Capacity62,512
SurfaceGrass
Opened1950
Tenants
Jackson State University
1967–present
Mississippi High School Football Championships
1992–2013
Capital City Classic
1993–2011
Egg Bowl
1973–1990
Backyard Brawl
2000–2004
Magnolia Gridiron All-Star Classic (NCAA) 2005–2006
University of Mississippi
1953-1996
Mississippi State University
1953–1990
University of Southern Mississippi
1952–1988
 
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Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium
Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.jpg
Location2531 North State Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39216
OwnerJackson State University
OperatorJackson State University
Capacity62,512
SurfaceGrass
Opened1950
Tenants
Jackson State University
1967–present
Mississippi High School Football Championships
1992–2013
Capital City Classic
1993–2011
Egg Bowl
1973–1990
Backyard Brawl
2000–2004
Magnolia Gridiron All-Star Classic (NCAA) 2005–2006
University of Mississippi
1953-1996
Mississippi State University
1953–1990
University of Southern Mississippi
1952–1988

Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. Veterans Memorial Stadium is the home field of the Jackson State University Tigers. The stadium was originally known as War Veterans Memorial Stadium then later as Hinds County War Memorial Stadium before finally being christened with its current moniker. In the past it has served as an alternate home stadium for The University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, and the University of Southern Mississippi. From 1973-1990 the Egg Bowl was played there and from 1992-2013 it hosted the Mississippi High School Activities Association state championship football games. In addition to college and high school games it has hosted several NFL preseason games.[1]

History[edit]

Construction on the facility began in early 1949 and it opened in 1950 with a seating capacity of 21,000. By 1953 temporary seating had brought the capacity up to 25,000 and in 1961 the stadium was expanded to hold 46,000 and in 1981 it underwent an expansion that brought total capacity to 62,512, although subsequent renovations dropped the current seating to the official 60,492 seats.[2] In 1960 the state legislature took over control of the stadium and it remain under their supervision until 2013 when "operational, administrative and managing powers and duties" were transferred to Jackson State University.[3]

The stadium hosted its first football game on December 9, 1950, a contest between Holmes Junior College Bulldogs and the Kilgore College Rangers of Kilgore, Texas. A crowd of 18,000 saw Holmes fall to the visiting Rangers 32-12. The first Division I-A game took place on November 11, 1952, when Southern Mississippi defeated Louisville 55-26. Ole Miss first played their first game there on September 19, 1953, defeating Chattanooga 39-6, and on Halloween day of that same year, Mississippi State played there for the first time, suffering a 20-27 loss to Texas Tech.[1] Current tenant Jackson State's first game at the stadium was an October 1967 contest versus Grambling State. JSU won that game 20-14[4]

From the 1960s through the 1990s, Ole Miss (The University of Mississippi), Mississippi State and Southern Miss regularly played selected "home" games there, including "SEC doubleheader Saturdays" in which one school would host a conference opponent in the morning or afternoon and the other would host a conference opponent at night.[5] Notably, the annual Egg Bowl contests between Ole Miss and Mississippi State were held there from 1973 through the 1990 contest, after which the game returned to the two schools' respective campuses.[6] Shortly after the 1980 expansion, however, both Ole Miss and Mississippi State decided to enhance their on-campus facilities to develop the same home-field advantage of their fellow Southeastern Conference members, and gradually stopped playing games in Jackson altogether. The last game played there by an SEC school was a blowout win by Ole Miss over Division I-AA VMI in 1996; the Rebels' last conference game at Jackson was a 1993 win over Arkansas. Mississippi State's last home game at Jackson was a 34-22 victory over LSU in 1990 and their last game of any sort there was the 1990 Egg Bowl where they lost to the Rebels 21-9 playing as the visiting team.[7] Southern Miss made regular appearances as well, playing both UM and MSU as well as games against such schools as Texas A&M (which joined the SEC in 2012) The Golden Eagles played their final home game there in 1988, a 38-21 win over Mississippi State.[8]

From 2000-2004 Veterans Memorial was home of the renewed Backyard Brawl between Millsaps College and Mississippi College. On September 2, 2000, after a 40 year hiatus, the two schools resumed their football series and in front of a reported crowd of 10,200 spectators Millsaps defeated Mississippi College 20-19.[9][10][11]

The stadium was also host to the annual Capital City Classic between Jackson State and Alcorn State University, both of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, from 1993-2010. Starting in 2011 the game began to alternate between Veterans Memorial Stadium and Alcorn State's home field, Jack Spinks Stadium, in Lorman, Mississippi when The Braves exercised the their right as the home to host the game on their campus. In a document published on the Alcorn State website University President M. Christopher Brown II and interim athletic director Dwayne White informally dubbed the game the "Soul Bowl”.[12]

From 1992-2013 the Mississippi High School Activities Association state championship football games were played at the stadium, but on July 20, 2014 MHSAA executive director Don Hinton announced that those games would begin rotating between Davis Wade Stadium at Mississippi State and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Ole Miss.[13]

Future[edit]

The facility faces an uncertain future. The stadium's lone remaining tenant, Jackson State University, has proposed leaving the facility.

In the spring of 2013 Jackson State unveiled a proposal for a 50,000 seat, $200 million domed stadium that would also house the Tigers' basketball team, host concerts, and host special events. In addition to seating 50,000 for football, it would hold 17,000 for basketball and 21,000 for concerts and include 75 sky boxes for rental. The JSU Sports Hall of Fame will be located on the first floor.[14][15]

“…the ultimate goal is that we have our own stadium close to campus just because we think that would be more beneficial to JSU.” - Michael Thomas, JSU vice president of business and finance.

Should JSU relinquish control of the stadium, the University of Mississippi Medical Center has expressed interest in using the property to build a medical research and treatment "city" in the area. If Jackson State were to build a stadium either on or close to its campus UMMC would regain ownership of the old facility and it could be razed.

“We don’t have a football team, so we would have no use for the stadium. So we would develop a plan for the development for that property…There’s a lot involved here, and we don’t want to cloud the issue. We want to make sure everyone understands that we’re in full support of Jackson State.” - Dr. David Powe, UMMC chief administrative affairs officer.[16]

Notable games[edit]

Other events[edit]

The 1993 Drum Corps International World Championships were held there with the Cadets of Bergen County taking 1st place.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b A History of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium From Mississippi Sports Magazine
  2. ^ Fans no longer flock to Jackson stadium
  3. ^ MS Code § 55-23-6 (2013)
  4. ^ a b Jackson State Athletics
  5. ^ A History of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium from Mississippi Sports Magazine
  6. ^ a b The Egg Bowl Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss, Second Edition
  7. ^ a b A History of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium (from championship subdivision news)
  8. ^ A History of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium (from Mississippi Sports Magazine)
  9. ^ 10,200 turn out to watch Mississippi backyard brawl
  10. ^ Backyard Brawl
  11. ^ Millsaps College vs Mississippi College (Sep 02, 2000)
  12. ^ Jackson, Miss. to Lose Capital City Classic in 2012
  13. ^ MHSAA football championships to move to college campuses
  14. ^ Jackson State looking to build 50,000 seat, $200 million domed stadium
  15. ^ The JSU Domed Venue
  16. ^ Private money, new stadium for Jackson State football loom as roadblocks for UMMC mega facility
  17. ^ MSU vs. Auburn Historical: Bulldogs down #5 Tigers in Jackson in 1963
  18. ^ Ole Miss Football Results for 1960 - 1969
  19. ^ Sports Illustrated November 10, 1969 "Football's Week"
  20. ^ National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Walter "Sweetness" Payton biography
  21. ^ SWAC Roundup - Natchez News Leader - Oct 1, 1972
  22. ^ Jackson State University Football 2010 Media Guide
  23. ^ Sports Illustrated September 26, 1977 "The Week"
  24. ^ CFB-History 1977 College Football Polls (AP,UPI)
  25. ^ 33 years later, score remains State 6, Bama 3
  26. ^ A History of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium From Mississippi Sports Magazine
  27. ^ Cosby tried, God blew, and 2 teams celebrated
  28. ^ Wind-blocked kick most memorable Egg Bowl moment
  29. ^ 1984 SWAC Football Standings
  30. ^ The Day The Godfather Did In The Gunslinger
  31. ^ ALCORN STATE TRIUMPHS, 42-28
  32. ^ Alcorn Wins Epic Showdown with Mississippi Valley
  33. ^ 10,200 turn out to watch Mississippi backyard brawl
  34. ^ Backyard Brawl
  35. ^ Millsaps College vs Mississippi College (Sep 02, 2000)
  36. ^ http://www.arrangerxmusic.com/release/1993-dci-world-championships-dvd-legacy-collection

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Backyard Brawl
Capitol City Classic
Egg Bowl
Magnolia Bowl
Magnolia Gridiron All-Star Classic

Preceded by
Camp Randall Stadium
Host of the
Drum Corps International
World Championship

1993
Succeeded by
Foxboro Stadium


Coordinates: 32°19′46.7″N 90°10′47.2″W / 32.329639°N 90.179778°W / 32.329639; -90.179778