July 29, 2004
Northwest Football Facility Renamed
Northwest Football Facility Timeline
1908 - First year of football; Games played at field behind the Administration Building
1913 - University Athletic Field moved to current location
1917 - Bleachers constructed around field, named Memorial Stadium
1961 - Facility re-named Rickenbrode Stadium
2004 - Facility re-named Bearcat Stadium
The change was proposed by a group of anonymous donors, who wanted the name of Northwest's new facility to honor eveyr who was involved in the completiono of the project last year. Northwest's football facility is the longest running single-site facility in all of NCAA Division II.
"The Northwest Foundat, who was responsible for raising the funds for the facility, and the Board of Regents wanted to recognize the more than 700 people who contributed to the completion of that project," Northwest Director of Athletics Dr. Bob Boerigter said. "Collectively, we believe the name really reflects the support of all the Bearcats who were involved in the project. One of our regents put it best, saying 'this is our stadium.'".
From 1913 through 1917, the team played on the University Athletic Field. In 1917, construction on bleachers was completed and the facility was named Memorial Stadium. In 1961, University President J.W. Jones re-named the stadium in honor of William Rickenbrode, a long-time Northwest employee and Bearcat supporter. For nearly 44 years, the football facility was named after Rickenbrode, known to his colleagues and friends as "Mr. Bearcat."
In 2000, the first wave of major changes to the stadium took place. The east grandstand was completely demolished and rebuilt. That project was funded solely by Northwest students.
The renovations weren't finished, however. Following the 2001 season, demolition of the west grandstand and press box began. Construction of the new west side began quickly thereafter. The 2002 season was played with temporary seating and a temporary press seating area.
In 2003, the new-and-improved stadium was unveiled. The new construction included increased seating capacity on the west side, chairback and railback seating, 10 luxury suites, a spacious and functional press area and a new scoreboard, complete with a video board.
The most recent set of renovations has been solely funded by private donations, including a recent group of donors who were behind the change to Bearcat Stadium.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
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