The first campus-improvement project of the Gilbertson administration was the 1989 expansion of the football stadium. The Board of Control discussed plans that year to add an additional 3,000 seats and to modernize the outdoor complex. Gilbertson noted prior to construction that private gifts would “enable us to enjoy a fine stadium facility without cost to taxpayers or our students.” Donations totaling $1.2 million funded the stadium renovations, which began in 1991. Contractors added 1,500 permanent seats, a new press box, a concessions stand and restrooms. Using soil from the excavation of the large retention pond at the university’s main entrance, crews erected a 23-foot-high, 220-foot-wide, horseshoe-shaped berm around the field, giving the stadium a traditional bowl look. The football team kicked off the first game Sept. 14, 1991, against Wayne State. The new-look Harvey Randall Wickes Memorial Stadium honored the legacy of Wickes, whose foundation had been the principal donor.
Wickes Stadium underwent a major renovation in the summer of 2011. Under the scope of the renovation, the stadium made the transition from natural grass to a state-of-the-art Desso Turf surface. In addition to the synthetic turf, the project added Musco Lighting and a Daktronics video board to enhance the atmosphere and allow for night games. The stadium has an official capacity of 6,800 and the team drew a record number of fans during the 2014 season, with 37,723 fans entering through the gates.
* - To rent Wickes Stadium call (989) 964-2009