Memorial Stadium (1924-81)

Go Minnesota

Opened on Oct. 14, 1924, Memorial Stadium served as the home of the Golden Gophers for 57 years. The stadium was dedicated to the 3,527 university workers and graduates who served in World War I, 98 of whom died in service. Built on approximately 11 acres where the current University Recreation Center, Aquatic Center and McNamara Alumni Center stand today, Memorial Stadium had 52,736 permanent seats but could seat over 56,000. The horseshoe-shaped stadium also served as the home track and field facility. With the addition of temporary bleacher seating, more than 60,000 fans could fit into Memorial Stadium as a stadium-record 66,284 fans watched Minnesota face Purdue on Nov. 18, 1966.

The stadium, which took seven months to construct, cost $572,000 to build. More than 475 workers were employed for the construction that required more than 1.4 million feet of lumber, one million bricks and 90,000 sacks of cement. Minnesota played its first game in Memorial Stadium on Oct. 14, 1924, defeating North Dakota 14-0. Tickets for the inaugural game were just one dollar.

The Golden Gophers had a stellar record in Memorial Stadium, including 12 unbeaten seasons at home. They didn’t suffer a losing season at home from the building’s inception in 1924 until 1950, a span of 26 years.

Memorial Stadium was changed to artificial turf in 1970 but then switched back to natural grass in 1977. The stadium was demolished in 1989 and 2,000 of the original bricks were used in the building of Mariucci Arena. University officials debated renovation of Memorial Stadium, but instead opted for a move to the Metrodome.

Memorial Stadium Attendance
capacity: 52,809 (1924-69) • 56,652 (1970-81)

Year ... Att. ... Gm. ... Largest Crowd ... Avg.
1924 ... 139,772 ... 6 ... Illinois (35,341) ... 23,297
1925 ... 193,707 ... 7 ... Notre Dame (49,009) ... 27,672
1926 ... 156,032 ... 5 ... Michigan (58,362) ... 31,206
1927 ... 166,848 ... 5 ... Wisconsin (48,443) ... 23,126
1928 ... 146,185 ... 5 ... Chicago (53,016) ... 29,237
1929 ... 204,083 ... 6 ... Michigan (58,160) ... 34,014
1930 ... 167,728 ... 6 ... Northwestern (50,225) ... 27,955
1931 ... 115,631 ... 5 ... Wisconsin (48,443) ... 23,126
1932 ... 113,956 ... 5 ... Northwestern (52,426) ... 43,557
1933 ... 164,301 ... 6 ... Iowa (41,177) ... 27,384
1934 ... 192,922 ... 5 ... Michigan (59,362) ... 38,584
1935 ... 217,785 ... 5 ... Northwestern (52,426) ... 43,557
1936 ... 247,653 ... 5 ... Iowa (61,172) ... 49,531
1937 ... 254,188 ... 5 ... Notre Dame (63,237) ... 50,838
1938 ... 237,000 ... 5 ... Michigan (54,212) ... 47,400
1939 ... 229,954 ... 5 ... Northwestern 52,372) ... 45,991
1940 ... 234,990 ... 5 ... Michigan (61,976) ... 46,998
1941 ... 239,227 ... 5 ... Northwestern (61,784) ... 47,845
1942 ... 231,307 ... 6 ... Michigan (52,351) ... 38,551
1943 ... 182,779 ... 7 ... Purdue (38,709) ... 26,111
1944 ... 179,979 ... 6 ... Northwestern (39,997) ... 29,997
1945 ... 246,931 ... 6 ... Ohio State (55,789) ... 41,155
1946 ... 328,003 ... 6 ... Michigan (59,037) ... 54,667
1947 ... 289,612 ... 5 ... Purdue (61,087) ... 57,922
1948 ... 308,556 ... 5 ... Purdue (65,549) ... 61,711
1949 ... 305,200 ... 5 ... Wisconsin (63,139) ... 61,040
1950 ... 267,015 ... 5 ... Iowa (60,312) ... 53,403
1951 ... 224,759 ... 5 ... Nebraska (54,573) ... 45,152
1952 ... 270,292 ... 5 ... Iowa (60,376) ... 54,058
1953 ... 293,313 ... 5 ... Michigan (62,795) ... 58,663
1954 ... 347,555 ... 6 ... Iowa (65,464) ... 57,926
1955 ... 305,581 ... 5 ... USC (64,074) ... 61,116
1956 ... 372,654 ... 6 ... Iowa (64,235) ... 62,109
1957 ... 314,769 ... 5 ... Purdue (64,629) ... 62,954
1958 ... 282,230 ... 5 ... Iowa (63,726) ... 56,446
1959 ... 256,039 ... 5 ... Michigan (56,082) ... 51,208
1960 ... 342,199 ... 6 ... Iowa (65,292) ... 57,033
1961 ... 361,929 ... 6 ... Purdue (66,284) ... 60,322
1962 ... 368,200 ... 6 ... Iowa (65,061) ... 61,367
1963 ... 286,797 ... 5 ... Michigan (61,817) ... 57,759
1964 ... 268,908 ... 5 ... Iowa (62,514) ... 53,782
1965 ... 302,747 ... 6 ... Michigan (58,519) ... 50,458
1966 ... 248,248 ... 5 ... Iowa (62,631) ... 49,600
1967 ... 237,798 ... 6 ... Michigan State (56,334) ... 39,633
1968 ... 312,806 ... 6 ... USC (60,820) ... 52,134
1969 ... 272,449 ... 6 ... Ohio State (52,972) ... 45,417
1970 ... 225,468 ... 5 ... Nebraska (52,539) ... 45,093
1971 ... 207,662 ... 6 ... Michigan (44,412) ... 34,610
1972 ... 222,079 ... 6 ... Iowa (44,196) ... 37,013
1973 ... 252,917 ... 6 ... Nebraska (56,782) ... 42,153
1974 ... 226,127 ... 6 ... Ohio State (45,411) ... 37,688
1975 ... 220,081 ... 7 ... Wisconsin (37,578) ... 31,440
1976 ... 262,878 ... 6 ... Iowa (53,222) ... 43,813
1977 ... 247,118 ... 7 ... Michigan (44,165) ... 35,303
1978 ... 231,411 ... 6 ... Ohio State (52,209) ... 38,569
1979 ... 241,952 ... 6 ... Purdue (47,281) ... 40,325
1980 ... 265,105 ... 6 ... Iowa (58,158) ... 44,184
1981 ... 301,248 ... 7 ... Michigan (52,875) ... 43,035

Largest Memorial Stadium Crowds:
1. 66,284 vs. Purdue, 11/18/61
2. 65,549 vs. Purdue, 11/6/48
3. 65,464 vs. Iowa, 11/13/54
4. 65,292 vs. Iowa, 11/5/60