VANDERBILT ATHLETICS TIMELINES - CONSTRUCTION HISTORY
Key Dates in History of Memorial Gymnasium
1952: MEMORIAL GYM DEDICATED
The Commodores defeated Virginia of the Atlantic Coast Conference 90-83 in the dedication of Memorial Gym on Dec. 6, 1952. Capacity for the original structure was 6,583. The building was designed for balconies, which could push capacity past 10,000.
1965: TWO NORTH SIDE BALCONIES CONSTUCTED
The first seating addition - two balconies on the north side of the facility - pushes capacity over 8,500.
1967: BALCONIES ADDED TO SOUTH SIDE OF GYM
Companion balconies matching the north side addition built two years earlier, are installed on the south side of Memorial Gym. The expansion moves capacity to 11,103.
1969: BALCONIES ADDED TO EAST & WEST SIDES OF MEMORIAL GYM
Capacity tops out at 15,581 - largest of any basketball venue in the Southeastern Conference - after more balconies are constructed on the east and west sides of Memorial Gym.
1989: INDIVIDUAL SEATING, HANDICAP ACCESS AREAS ADDED
Vanderbilt officials add handicap access areas and highly sought individual seats on the north side, lowering capacity to 15,378.
1991: MEN'S AND WOMEN"S LOCKER ROOMS RENOVATED
Spacious locker rooms for both the men's and women's squads are expanded on the surface level of Memorial Gym.
2000: PRIVATE SUITES, LIGHTING SYSTEMS, LOBBY RENOVATIONS ADDED
In Phase 1 of a two-part construction project, Memorial Gym opens with an assortment of cosmetic changes, including the addition of eight first-level suites, new lighting and sound systems, and lobby renovations. Construction of the suites drops capacity to 14,168.
2002: PRACTICE FACILITY, COACHES' OFFICES, DONOR ROOM, HALL OF CHAMPIONS, ENTRY PLAZAS ADDED
Phase 2 of the last major construction effort in Memorial Gym concludes, resulting in the opening of a state-of-the-art practice facility adjoining the original structure, men's and women's coaching offices on third floor space between the practice facility and Gym, a hospitality room for National Commodore Club donors and extensive plaza connectors that assist access around the gym.
2004: EXPANSION OF STUDENT SECTION INCREASES SEATING CAPACITY
By moving most of press row into the suites and expanding the student seating area, officials add 148 seats, pushing capacity back to 14,316.
Key Dates in History of Vanderbilt Stadium
1892: OLD DUDLEY FIELD OPENS AS HOME TO VANDERBILT FOOTBALL
The stadium, located off 21st Avenue on the eastern edge of campus, opens on Oct. 21, 1892 in resounding fashion for the Commodores - a victory over Tennessee. Officials pay tribute to Dr. William Dudley, former dean of the Vanderbilt Medical College and a national leader in college athletics.
1922: DUDLEY FIELD OPENS ON CURRENT SITE
Built as the first stadium in the South erected exclusively for college football, 20,000-seat Dudley Field is christened on Oct. 14, 1922 as Commodores and Michigan Wolverines battle to 0-0 score before packed audience. The former field is renamed in honor of football legend "Rabbit" Curry.
1949: PRESS BOX & SEATS ADDED
New seats and a modern press box are added to western side of stadium, boosting capacity to 27,901.
1954: STADIUM LIGHTS ADDED
On Sept. 25, 1954, Vanderbilt hosted No. 10-ranked Baylor University in the first night game ever played on the Dudley Field surface. The lights were added to help facilitate the Billy Graham Crusade on campus.
1960: SEATING EXPANSION
Nearly 7,000 seats are added to the stadium with an expansion on the east side of the stadium near Memorial Gym. Capacity jumps to 34,000.
1970: NEW PLAYING SURFACE INSTALLED
At a price of $250,000, officials installed an Astroturf synthetic surface to Dudley Field.
1980: VANDERBILT STADIUM OPENS
Over the course of nine months, construction crews virtually level Dudley Field, then construct 41,000-seat Vanderbilt Stadium in time for the 1981 season. The project costs $10.1 million. The team celebrates a soldout dedication by taking a 23-17 comeback win over Maryland on Sept. 12, 1981.
1998: JUMBOTRON VIDEO SCREEN ADDED
To enhance the gameday experience, officials add the Jumbotron video screen installed, in advance of the Tennessee Oilers playing 1998 home games in the facility.
1999: PLAYING SURFACE RETURNS TO NATURAL GRASS
2003: REMOVAL OF NORTH ENDZONE BLEACHERS
Officials remove aging bleacher season in north endzone, lowering capacity to 39,773.
Timeline of Hawkins Field Construction
2002: HAWKINS FIELD DEDICATED
University, government and community leaders gather on April 27, 2002 to dedicate Hawkins Field, the newly completed showcase to Commodore Baseball. The scenic complex is named in honor of the Hawkins family. Long-time program contributor Charles Hawkins III became the first Commodore baseball player to earn All-Southeastern Conference honors during a career than spanned 1952-54. He donated a large sum toward the construction of a new baseball field on campus. His father, Charles Hawkins II, lettered in baseball and football at Vanderbilt as a student in the mid-1920s. Started in late 2000, the original construction included a 1,581-capacity grandstand and press box, an iron-and-brick exterior facade, patios just off the rightfield and leftfield lines, and unique left field dimensions that include a 35-foot high wall that fronts Memorial Gym. Hawkins Field replaces McGugin Field, which opened in the 1920s.
2006: TWO-PHASE EXPANSION INCLUDES ADDITIONAL STADIUM SEATS, FIELDHOUSE AND PRACTICE FACILITY
Phase I adds nearly 500 chairback seats to Hawkins Field, pushing seating capacity beyond 2,000. Early in 2006, Tim Corbin's Commodores move into a two-story complex that fronts the leftfield line of Hawkins Field. The brick complex features modern locker facilities for student-athletes and coaches, offices over looking the playing surface and large meeting rooms for team functions. Previously, the coaching staff worked out of offices located in McGugin Center while the players' locker facilities were located adjacent to the baseball park in Vanderbilt Stadium. Later in the year, the team moved into a state-of-the-art practice facility located in corner of Memorial Gymnasium that formerly housed an indoor swimming facilities. The indoor batting cages and weightroom facilities are located just outside both Hawkins Field and the team's fieldhouse facilities.
Major Construction Timeline of McGugin Center
1969: MCGUGIN CENTER IS DEDICATED
University officials centralize Vanderbilt Athletics with the opening of McGugin Center across thestreet from Dudley Field and McGugin Field (site of current Hawkins Field baseball complex). The two-story features offices for administrators and coaching staffs, the athletic ticket office and business office, locker rooms, a multiple-sport equipment facility, indoor gym and academic area. In square footage, the original center was virtually half as large as the current-day headquarters for Vanderbilt Athletics. The center honors the contributions of Dan McGugin, the College Hall of Fame coach who put Commodore Football on the national stage during a 30-year tenure that started in 1904. McGugin remains one of the winningest coaches in college football history.
1989: EXPANSION INCLUDES STRATTON FOSTER ACADEMIC, LOCKER ROOMS, WEIGHT ROOM, SPORTS MEDICINE CLINIC & TRAINING ROOMS
Two years after Athletic Director Roy Kramer called for an expansion of Vanderbilt athletic facilities, the university opens a renovation and expansion that doubles the size of McGugin Center and vastly enhances its service to Commodore student-athletes and staff.The $6 million project included a total renovation of the existing facility - and new constructions on both sides of the former center. Additions to the McGugin Center include the Hendrix Room dining facility, locker rooms for several teams including Commodore football, a coordinated sports medicine clinic and athletic training effort, and the highly claimed Stratton Foster Academic Center.